Saudi Arabia will produce under license Kalashnikov AK-103 assault rifle

The joint project between Russia and Saudi Arabia on licensed production of Kalashnikov AK-103 automatic rifles will be agreed by the middle of the year, Rosoboronexport CEO Alexander Mikheyev said at IDEX-2019 arms show.

Saudi Arabia will produce under license Kalashnikov AK 103 assault rifle 925 001
Kalashnikov AK-103 7.62x39mm caliber assault rifle (Picture source Army Recognition)

"We signed and are implementing a contract (with Saudi Arabia) for Kalashnikov rifles. The next stage stipulates licensed production. It will be promoted in Saudi Arabia and third countries after the necessary documents are agreed," he said.

Saudi Arabia has a developed firearms production. "We saw that Saudi Arabia has a cluster to produce small arms. When the technology transfer roadmap is agreed with the implementation project, we shall submit corresponding proposals to the government," Mikheyev said adding three-four months remain to complete the project.

Mikheyev said some African and Asian countries displayed interest in joint production of firearms. "It is a global trend. Rosoboronexport is advancing to a new cooperation level of industrial partnership," he said.

The AK-103 assault rifle is a derivative of the AK-74M chambered for the 7.62×39mm M43 round, similar to the older AKM. 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. It uses plastic components where possible instead of wood or metal, with such components being the pistol grip, handguards and stock.