Small arms and Light Weapons

When picking a gun, what would your primary consideration be?


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WolfPack86

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Russian Rifle Delays Raise Concerns Over Deliveries from Moscow
Is this an indicator that the halcyon period of bilateral military commerce between New Delhi and Moscow has run its course and is fast nearing its end?

Chandigarh: Delays in the indigenous licensed manufacture of Russian Kalashnikov AK-203 assault rifles at a dedicated facility in Korwa near Amethi in Uttar Pradesh, has further raised concerns in domestic military circles over Moscow’s ability to deliver assorted contracted-for platforms and other materiel to India on time, or if at all.

Despite the sanguinity expressed periodically by Russian officials and diplomats to their Indian counterparts – over the fact that their military-industrial complex remained robust and was ‘on stream’ to vindicate its equipment delivery schedules, US-led sanctions on Moscow for invading Ukraine have, in reality severely jeopardised its capacities in this regard.


This deficit surfaced visibly in the inability of the Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) joint venture (JV), instituted in late 2021, to deliver the first batch of around 5,000 AK-203 7.62x39mm rifles to the Indian Army, by March 2024. Instead, at the Indian Army’s prompting, the Ministry of Defence recently approved the add-on import of around 73,000 ‘Patrol’ Sig Sauer assault rifles from the US, for an estimated Rs 840 crores, to meet the forces’ urgent operational needs.

No official statement on this postponement in supplying the AK-203s to the Indian Army units has been forthcoming, from either IRRPL, the Indian Army or the Ministry of Defence. But industry sources said that the economic and technological sanctions on Russia, were together responsible for deferrals in even an industrially low-end project entailing the licensed manufacture of assault rifles. The IRRPL was formed, amidst much fanfare, to manufacture some 750,000 AK-203 rifles via a technology transfer from Russia, albeit with a high level of indigenisation.

‘Final lap’?


Senior military officers, however, considered this holdup and an objective assessment of the myriad hurdles Moscow faces under sanctions, an indicator that the halcyon period of bilateral military commerce between New Delhi and Moscow had finally run its course and was fast nearing an end.


“This long -standing commercial military relationship is in its final lap,” said a retired three-star Army officer who, during his service span had overseen the induction into service of an inordinately vast amount of Russian materiel. And though this association will ‘stagger’ on, as legacy Soviet-era and Russian defence equipment still operative needed technical support, little new, if any fresh buys, were now likely, he added, declining to be identified.

Over the past decade India had acquired over $20 billion worth of Russian materiel which, along with kit dating back to Soviet times, at present constituted some 65% of platforms and other varied equipment in use by its armed forces. This latter phenomenon necessitated continual servicing, maintenance, overhaul, and in some instances upgradation of a large proportion of this equipment by their Russian Original Equipment Manufacturers. But ever since Moscow was sanctioned 22 months ago, this facet too had significantly dwindled following enduring uncertainty over the continued supply of spares and components to sustain the Indian military’s serviceable Russian equipment.

An easy conceding


Ironically, Russia’s defence industrial complex seems to concur, as it recently conceded its inability in continuing to deliver military kit to its many clients, including India, as it needed to prioritise ‘manufacturing and supplying products to the Russian Army’. In an October 19 press statement Russia’s monopolistic joint stock arms export company Rosonboronexport admitted to facing ‘pressing challenges faced by the country’s defence industry and the system of military-technical co-operation’. Analysts interpreted these ‘challenges’ to be a direct reference to Russia’s domestic defence industry supplying and supporting its military in the Ukraine mis-adventure.

As an alternative, Rosonboronexport is offering its potential foreign partners ‘new formats of co-operation within the global arms market trends’ that included ‘technology partnerships’ which the corporation estimated would double to 40% by 2030. Rosonboronexport head Aleksandr Mikheyev declared that his conglomerate had ‘strong competencies in launching licensed production, setting up joint ventures and conducting joint research and development with foreign customers’. Such an arrangement, the press release added, provided partner countries the opportunity to ‘launch full-scale production on their territory and develop their own (military) industrial base”.

The press note provided numerous such examples from India, like the licensed production and maintenance of Sukhoi Su-30 MKI multi-role fighters, T72M and T90S main battle tanks, Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty or BMP 1/ 2 infantry combat vehicles, Ak-203 assault rifles and assorted tank and other ammunition.

Meanwhile, apart from the deferred AK-203 project, India has three other major Russian platforms on order, all of which were plagued by delays, and possibly an ambiguous future.


These included the delivery of two of five Almaz-Antey S-400 Triumf self-propelled surface-to-air missile systems, acquired for the Indian Air Force (IAF) in a deal signed in October 2018 for $5.5 billion, constructing two Project 1135.6M Admiral Grigorovich guided missile frigates worth an estimated $950 million at Russia’s Yantar Shipyard at Kaliningrad and possibly leasing a follow-on Project 971 ‘Akula’ (Schuka-B)-class nuclear powered submarine for the Indian Navy for around $3 billion.

Between 2021 and March 2023 Russia had delivered three S-400 systems, and Rosonboronexport’s Mikheyev had recently told the country’s state-owned news agency TASS, that the remaining two air defence systems would arrive by end-2023, which has not happened. Military officers told The Wire that senior Russian officials continued to claim that the two outstanding S-400 systems would be arriving imminently, but they simply have not, and that this deadline remains ‘tenuous’.


Some defence analysts claimed that Russia had deployed several S-400 batteries in its Ukrainian campaign to counter the US-supplied Lockheed Martin M142 High Mobility Artillery Rocket System (HIMARS) to Ukraine’s military. In the ongoing firefight, some S-400 batteries had even been destroyed in the Crimea region, claimed retired Brigadier Rahul Bhonsle of the Security Risks consultancy Group in Delhi. “Such employment of S-400 systems by Russia only lessened the chances of India receiving its complement of two missile system in a hurry” he said. Their delivery schedule continues to remain indeterminate, he added.


Alongside, the two stealth frigates that were scheduled for delivery to the Navy by early 2024 too were delayed by at least 12 months, if not more. The EurAsian Times digital news service, quoting an unnamed officials, reported in September that both warships had been launched and outfitting work on them was underway, but their transfer to the Navy had been deferred due to the ‘focus on military operations in Ukraine’.


Consequently, in a knock-on effect, the latter project that included building two similar frigates under a separate $500 million contract, inked in January 2019 with Goa Shipyard limited (GSL) via a transfer of technology, too stands postponed at a time when the Navy faces multiple challenges in its immediate neighbourhood. The fate of the nuclear-powered submarine to be leased, however, was also nebulous, and according to industry sources, could end up being scrapped altogether, further weakening the equipment links between Moscow and Delhi.


The question of payment

Further complicating matters was the enduring tussle between India and Russia in evolving a dependable payment structure, that was not violative of sanctions on Moscow.


Official sources claimed that over $3 billion owed to Russia by India for military kit, spares and related apparatus for in-service equipment, had accumulated over the 12-14 months, leading to Moscow ‘pausing’ all further credit to Delhi for its defence buy’s. The rupees that had piled up under the mutually agreed rupee-rouble payment protocol had been routed via ‘vostro’ accounts through Russia’s Sherbank and VTB Bank respectively.


However, since late 2022 this state of affairs was muddled further by massive payments, also in rupees, for Russian oil imports which had increased 50-fold after the Ukraine invasion. In September Russia’s foreign minister Sergei Lavrov had reiterated that Moscow faced the problem of a rupee surfeit that was ‘not currently useable’. He told reporters at the G20 summit in Delhi that these rupees needed ‘transferring’ to another currency, and that an alternate arrangement was under discussion with his counterpart S. Jaishankar.

Jaishankar, for his part, recently conceded ‘understandable concern’ over the trade imbalance between Russia and India for defence equipment and told reporters in Delhi recently that the two countries needed to co-operate on a ‘very urgent basis ’ to address this predicament, but did not elaborate, nor disclose any roadmap.


More recently India had also turned down Russia’s proposal to settle its oil bills-and possibly, even its military equipment outstanding’s-in Chinese yuan. But alongside, it had seemingly also not finalised a workable solution to this predicament, as Indian banks continued to be wary of exploring other forms of payments to Russia, via other currencies, for fear of inviting secondary sanctions from the US and its allies. Earlier, India had even proposed that Russia utilised the rupees from its weapon sales to invest in Indian debt and capital markets, but Moscow had rejected the proposal.


In short, India’s military is steadily undergoing a makeover in its equipment profile, bringing to a close over six decades of monopoly dominated by Moscow-supplied defence goods in the rapidly evolving global strategic muddle.
 

Johny_Baba

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What happened to their SCAR lookalike? Zulfiqar rifle or something. Lost to MASAF?
most likely seems the case
but it should be noted that Iranians have been making other rifle designs like G-3 copies and even AR copies; for AR they got ToT and all from our friendly neighbourhood chinese as their earlier AR copies were based on Chinese copy of AR itself called Norinco CQ and others in that series.
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twerking it further to make HK416 like analog with short-stroke gas piston system and later upscaling it for 7.62 NATO isn't a hard stuff, so yeah
 

ALBY

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What's the use of these long muzzle device in Type56s?

View attachment 234913
Craft made muzzle brake or flashhider.Don’t think thats a rifle grenade adapter.
Most probably these rifles are made in Pashtun tribal areas and not Chinese or East german.Triabal areas of Pakistan males absolutely sexy Aks which looks more shining than the original Russian ones.
 

WolfPack86

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Kalyani Strategic Systems Limited (KSSL) - Arsenal AR-M5F41 Stump Schuele Lewis Machine Tools (SS-LMT) - P-72 AWEIL OFT - Trichy Assault Rifle (TAR) PLR Systems - IWI ACE DINEX (I) Pvt Ltd & NECO Desert Tech Defence
 

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