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Kalashnikov Woos With Smartphone-Syncing Shotgun, Eyes Production in India

Russian arms producer Kalashnikov plans to begin making its AK-203 assault rifle in India this 12 months and desires to draw a wider viewers with a hi-tech shotgun, chief government Dmitry Tarasov stated.

Named after the designer of the AK-47 assault rifle that has been used for many years in wars around the globe, Kalashnikov has been searching for new enterprise and markets after being hit by US and EU sanctions over Russia’s annexation of Crimea in 2014.

It is focusing on a 60 p.c enhance in annual revenues to greater than RUB 50 billion (roughly Rs. 4,900 crores) by 2025, Tarasov instructed Reuters in an interview.

Featuring a built-in laptop, the Ultima shotgun envisages WiFi and Bluetooth connectivity and may synchronise with good telephones. It is meant to woo youthful purchasers corresponding to gadget fanatics.

Also central to Kalashnikov’s development plans is India, the place it goals to supply 670,000 AK-203 rifles in the following decade along with the Indian defence ministry.

“We are hoping to launch production of AK-203 rifles at our joint venture in India this year. I feel it is a long-term trend so other examples will follow soon,” he stated.

Kalashnikov launched licenced manufacturing of the AK-130 assault rifle in Armenia final 12 months and Tarasov, 37, stated it desires to deepen cooperation with Latin America, the place it has a properly established relationship with Venezuela.

“We know that there is an active demand in that market,” he stated, however declined to offer additional particulars.

Hi-tech shotgun

Kalashnikov sells weapons to 27 international locations and produces 95 p.c of Russia’s small arms, however the US sanctions imposed in 2014 banned US entities from doing enterprise with Kalashnikov.

The AK-203 is a sophisticated model of the AK-47 invented by Soviet soldier Mikhail Kalashnikov after he was wounded throughout World War Two.

The Ultima is a completely new enterprise for the corporate in which state conglomerate Rostec has a 25 p.c stake plus one share. Alan Lushnikov, a former deputy transport minister, owns a 75 p.c stake minus one share through a agency known as TKH-Invest.

“With Ultima we want to attract new customers who are not typically our target audience,” stated Tarasov. “We are targeting customers who want to get some drive or adrenaline. Entering a semi-game niche could be an option.”

Unmanned aerial autos, a few of which take off like a helicopter and fly like a glider carrying video cameras, are additionally “a very important business,” he stated.

Kalashnikov additionally sees the market in torches, knives and different branded merchandise as promising.

© Thomson Reuters 2021

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