The Indian Army will use the upgraded version of the AK-203 assault rifle in carbine role for counter-insurgency operations in Jammu and Kashmir. Russia and India on 3 March 2019 inaugurated a plant that will produce AK-203 assault rifles
The AK-203 assault rifle would be manufactured at Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi facility in a joint venture between the Ordnance Factory Board and Russia. The assault rife would be provided to troops for carrying out anti-terrorist operations. A separate tender is being floated to buy 93,000 carbines under fast track procedure.
“We want to try out the AK-203 in the carbine role. We can remove the rifle’s butt completely to reduce its size and then it can be hidden easily under clothes to be used in close quarter combat operations against terrorists,” top Army sources told ANI.
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“If needed, more modifications can be done in the AK-203 to suit the carbine role requirement,” they said. “The carbines are also useful in close quarter combat and can be highly effective during operations like room interventions.”
“Efforts are under process to acquire 93,000 carbines and the Defence Ministry has formed an oversight committee to look into the case.”
A senior Lieutenant General-rank officer has been appointed as the member of the committee including other members from the Defence Ministry and the DRDO.
The Defence Ministry is expected to take a call once the oversight committee submits its report. The Central government has already finalised contracts for buying two types of modern assault rifles for the Army.
The government is also thinking to meet the requirement of carbines through foreign vendors initially and then through ‘Make in India’ programme under which more than three lakh carbines would be manufactured at an Indian facility.