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India, Russia to fast track production of Ka-226T chopper, AK203 rifle

India and Russia have agreed to resolve issues around the production of Ka-226T helicopters and AK203 rifle and put them on a fast track. Fast-tracking for the production of Ka 226T and AK203 was discussed during Defence Minister Rajnath Singh's visit to Moscow earlier this week.

"The parties have resolved and will make all efforts to fast-track the launching of these projects," sources told DNA.

Ka-226T helicopter project announced in 2014 is expected to replace Indian army's light utility helicopters Cheetah and Chetak.


The main aim of the project is "Make in India" production of the helicopters with scaled up role of Indian companies. Many of local Indian vendors are expected to become the suppliers as the Russian-Indian joint venture has signed MoUs with a number of companies.

Sources said "India will be able to receive some crucial helicopter technologies" with "integration of various helicopter systems being possible."

While the intergovernmental agreements were signed are a long time ago, a formal contract is still not signed and the actual project's launch is still pending.

Ka-226T helicopters will be produced at a factory in Bengaluru. The maximum speed of Ka-226T helicopters is 220kmph and it can carry a weight of up to 3600kg with a payload of 785 kg.

AK203 is a modern variant of Kalashnikov family of rifles and will be produced at the Indo Russia Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) rifle manufacturing facility in Korwa, Amethi. Compared to earlier Kalashnikov rifles, AK203 is considered to have better accuracy.

The rifle has customizability due to use of the Picatinny rail which enables instalment on the basic rifle of additional equipment and therefore can be quickly adapted for the various components of the Indian Forces. The gun has been already tested under the conditions of extreme heat and cold.

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