Russia Scolds India over Bulgarian Rifles*

Views on BG | February 20, 2008, Wednesday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0

By Pradeep Thakur
The Times of India

The new version of the AK-103 rifle, which will be made in India, can easily fit night vision devices and doesn't require much expertise to handle.

Officials at Russian manufacturer Kalashnikov said that in their survey with several armies and police departments across the world, they had found the AK series an undisputed leader.

"We spoke to American soldiers fighting in Iraq and they too preferred a rifle like the AK series which is smooth to operate and lighter to carry," said Izhmash spokesperson Xavarzin.

Xavarzin, however, expressed displeasure on India procuring assault rifles from Bulgaria which had long "lost its legitimacy to manufacture the Kalashnikov series".

"The erstwhile USSR had issued licences to 18 arms manufacturers but all have passed their expiry date, except a Latin American nation," he said.

"Several countries have developed AK clones and as the price of these weapons are very low, low-cost components are used, very often resulting in poor performance," Xavarzin added.

The AK or Avtomat Kalashnikov rifles, which became Soviet Army's frontline standard rifle in 1949, became the prototype for the development of a family of guns. Its designer Mikhail Timofeyevich Kalashnikov, 88, lives in Izhevsk.

* The title of the article has been changed by the Editorial staff of
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