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Wednesday 24 February 2021

Saudi Arabia to Produce Kalashnikov Rifles

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MOSCOW (Kommersant) – One of the world’s major arms exhibitions, IDEX 2021, kicked off in Abu Dhabi (UAE) on Sunday. Russian Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, who heads the country’s delegation to the event, confirmed in an interview with Kommersant that Saudi Arabia inked a deal for Kalashnikov rifle production.

Denis Manturov

When speaking about cooperation with Saudi Arabia, Manturov said:

As for a contract on launching the first stage of joint production of Kalashnikov assault rifles, the parties have signed it and now, inter-state approval procedures are underway, after which the accord will take effect.

The deal involves the transfer of knowledge in the defence field to Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom has set a target for half of its significant defence budget to be spent within the country. This plan now includes the “localization” of the AK-103 assault rifle and its ammunition.

he AK-103 is an assault rifle designed in Russia by Russian small arms designer Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1994. It is an AK-100 derivative of the AK-74M (chambered for the 7.62×39énbsp;mm M43 cartridge) similar to the AKM. It is basically an AKM configured as an AK-74M. The AK-103 can be fitted with a variety of sights, including night vision and telescopic sights, plus a knife-bayonet or a grenade launcher. Newer versions can fit rails allowing more accessories to be mounted. It uses plastic components where possible instead of wood or metal.

A memorandum of understanding between the two sides could also see Russia supply Saudi Arabia with Kornet anti-tank guided missile systems, rocket launchers and automatic grenade launchers.

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