Russia's Kalashnikov Eyes Production in India

February 23, 2021

Kalashnikov is synonymous with Russia and the AK-47. The Russian arms manufacturer plans to produce the AK-203 in India this year. They also plan to target the high-tech market with its new Ultima shotgun.

Named after the designer of the AK-47 assault rifle that has been used for decades in wars around the world, Kalashnikov has been seeking new business and markets after being hit by U.S. and EU sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

It is targeting a 60% increase in annual revenues to more than 50 billion roubles ($675.33 million) by 2025, Tarasov told Reuters in an interview.

Featuring a built-in computer, the Ultima shotgun envisages WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and can synchronize with smart phones. It is intended to woo younger clients such as gadget enthusiasts.

Also central to Kalashnikov’s growth plans is India, where it aims to produce 670,000 AK-203 rifles in the next decade together with the Indian defense ministry.

“We are hoping to launch production of AK-203 rifles at our joint venture in India this year. I feel it is a long-term trend so other examples will follow soon,” he said.

Kalashnikov launched licensed production of the AK-130 assault rifle in Armenia last year and Tarasov, 37, said it wants to deepen cooperation with Latin America, where it has a well-established relationship with Venezuela.

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