12:17pm, 9th July, 2016


The Kalashnikov assault rifle has had a Bollywood ishtyle story in India. Read on to know more because ‘pikture abhi baki hai’.

Fact 1: In the mid-1990s, the Indian Army had equipped itself with about 12,000 Kalashnikovs it had captured from militants in Punjab, Kashmir and Tamil Tigers in Sri Lanka.

Many of these captured weapons were made in Russian factories like Izhmash and Tula.

At that time, the Indian Army was using the Belgium designed FN-FAL L1A1 7.62 mm Self Loading Rifle which was license produced by the Indian Ordnance Factories Board (OFB).

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Fact 2: The first Kalashnikov type rifles purchased for the Indian Army were the Czech VZ-58. To a common man, the VZ-58 may resemble to be the AK 47 but it is based on a different design including a different operating mechanism.

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Can you identify the VZ-58 from the AK 47?
(Submit your answer in the comments below

Fact 3: Currently, the Indian Army uses Kalashnikov variants for counter terrorism operations even after the induction of the indigenous INSAS rifle.

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Fact 4: The Rashtriya Rifles (RR), the counter-insurgency force’s badge depicts two crossed AK-47 rifles with fixed bayonets atop which is the coveted Ashoka Chakra.

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Fact 5: The Indian paramilitary like CISF, CRPF, etc. and the state police forces use Kalashnikov rifle variants sourced from the Bulgarian manufacturer, Arsenal.

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Fact 6: The Garud Commando Force of the Indian Air Force, the National Security Guard (NSG) and the MARCOS of the Indian Navy use the AKM-S (S is for ‘Skladnoy’ in Russian which means ‘Folding’ in English.)

The AKMS has an under-folding metal shoulder stock in place of the fixed wooden stock.

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Fact 7: The MARCOS also uses the AK 103 along with the AKM-S.

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Fact 8: We all remember the Sanjay Dutt and the AK 56 fiasco. Well, there is nothing as AK 56. The gun in question here is a Norinco Type-56, the Chinese proliferated variant of the AK 47. 

Interestingly, the number 56 relates to the year 1956 like 47 comes from 1947 for the AK 47.

Sanjay Dutt Norinco 56


Fact 9: Have you seen a student who besides copying the answers in the exam from his neighbour, also copies the later’s name?

In 2004, at the Defexpo, a biennial defence exhibition at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi the Indian Ordnance Factory Board pavilion displayed its product, the AK-7, a knock-off of the Kalashnikov with its distinctive banana shaped magazine.

Incidentally, the guest for the event was General Kalashnikov, designer of the Kalashnikov rifles. The general made his disgust known and threatened to file a copyright violation case against the government.

His protest had an instant impact and OFB shelved the AK-7. 

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Fact 10: “Made in India”

Kalashnikov inspired assault rifles have been developed by:

  • Rifle Factory of Ishapore: Ghatak  Assault Rifle
  • Ordnance Factory of Tiruchirapalli: Trichy Assault Rifle

The Kalashnikov Concern of Russia is in talks with both public as well as private companies of India to produce Kalashnikov assault rifles in India.

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Wasn’t that an awesome story?

Disclaimer: Information & images are sourced from the internet.