IndiaIndia's AK-203 will outweigh China's rifle

India’s AK-203 will outweigh China’s rifle

Rahul Pandey

The AK-203, the newest child in the family of the famous rifle AK-47, will now be made in India. Seven and a half lakh pieces are to be made in India, the first batch of which will be 70 thousand rifles. Till now AK-47, AK-103 and AK-12 rifles have come into circulation. The AK-203 will now replace the INSAS rifle that Indian soldiers have been carrying since 1990.

First let us know why we needed it and what the neighboring countries, especially China and Pakistan have? The People’s Liberation Army of China has been using the QBZ-95 as a service rifle for the last 34 years. This is a fully automatic rifle. When it moves, its piston keeps rotating, which makes it automatic. This 3.25 kg rifle measures 29.3 inches. The cartridge of this gun, which fires six hundred and fifty rounds in a minute, is 5.8×42 mm. The biggest minus point of this gun made in China is that even though China has been using it for three decades, there has not been a practical test of its firepower in any small war.

Talking about Pakistan, they have The Heckler and Knock G-3, which they used against India in 1965, 1971 and Kargil. Made in Germany in 1950, this rifle came to Pakistan in 1959, and is now made there. This 4.38 kg rifle is 40.4 inches long. This 7.62 mm rifle can fire five to six hundred bullets in a minute at a range of four to five hundred meters. For the past few years, Pakistan has also been trying to change this, probably after hearing about the arrival of AK-203 in India. Keep in mind that both these guns of China and Pakistan are service rifles, that is, they have them in large quantities.

Now back to our AK-203. It is included in the top-10 most dangerous guns in the world. America wanted to sell its SiG-716 to India instead. It can be operated both manually and automatically. It is a gas operated bolt rifle, weighs 3.80 kg and measures 38 inches in length. Its butt folds, then its length becomes 27 inches, which means it becomes more handy. It has a cartridge of 7.62×39, that is, its bullet is of 7.62 mm. It fires at least 800 bullets a minute, and both its cartridge and distance make it more dangerous than the Chinese QBZ-95.

But the power of a rifle cannot be determined only by its cartridge or firepower. A good gun is one that is reliable in all circumstances, in all weathers. The biggest feature of AK-203 is that it runs like butter even in extremely cold temperatures ranging from -5 to -50 degree Celsius. So far, not a single complaint of cheating has been reported in this temperature. Indian soldiers have to work in extremely cold weather in the Himalayas. The temperature in Siachen drops to -45 degrees. In such a situation, it is expected that it will be very useful for the soldiers, but can only hope because like the Chinese rifle, it is also not war tested. Secondly, the Russian service rifle itself is the AK-74M.

Apart from this, neither the dust storm of the desert nor the salt water of the sea has any effect on this rifle. It has been factory tested at both the places. The INSAS rifle that we have so far is 5.56 mm. India has been using it since 1990, and it has been tested in the Kargil war. Presently this rifle is manufactured in Thrissurapally and Kanpur. In the desert, this was a bit of a problem, as there are only 18 rounds left for 20 rounds to be filled. But when AK-203 will come in its place in the hands of the soldiers, then obviously the enemy will be forced to think once that our jawan is standing on the border with AK-203.

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author.