A while back I had posted an interesting bit regarding India’s adoption of the newest version of the Kalashnikov in 7.62, the AK-203, for use by counterinsurgency troops. Since then there’s been a number of videos published on why India chose the weapon and even a torture test published by Kalashnikov.
India faces a number of internal threats in a variety of environments, ranging from the heavy jungles fighting the communist Naxal insurgency, the Tamils in the south, and the Jihadis backed by Pakistan in Kashmir. What’s interesting to me is that they make a differentiation between domestic actions and how they equip and configure their forces based on that role. The General in the interview stated they plan on adopting the Sig 716 (in 7.62×51) for frontline duty and the AK-203 in the coutnerinsurgency role. So for external conflicts, likely in a fight with Pakistan or China, the 7.62 NATO would be in use, while choosing a lighter, faster weapon in the form of the AK for domestic fighting.
The AK-203 is not too far removed from its roots, integrating a railed top cover and handguards, but changing nearly nothing else.
An interesting animal indeed. And well suited to its role based on decades of results.