Russia’s Kalashnikov Group is developing a future ‘smart weapon’ kit with artificial intelligence (AI) components. Also, the concern has recently declared, that India would get the first AK-203 rifles within a few months after the signing of a relevant firm contract.
“At night or in low-visibility weather conditions, targets that are typical for small arms, may be fully concealed from human eyes. Therefore, the shooting systems of the future must be capable of identifying and tracking targets in such environments; this will definitely require the use of AI technologies and trained neural networks. The creation of such automated fire control systems is a new area in the development of rifle systems on a global scale”, – Kalashnikov Chief Designer Sergei Urzhumtsev told to a Russian news agency.
Some elements of the future Kalashnikov system have already been created. These elements were presented to the Russian Defense Minister at the ARMY 2021 defense show in Russia.
“These are separate subsystems with AI elements, which now make it possible to almost completely automate the processes of identification, aiming and target tracking, as well as the making a shot”, said Urzhumtsev.
‘Kalashnikov’ is the most renowned brand of Russian small arms. As it was announced at the ARMY 2021, more than 100,000 rifles are exported on a yearly basis. In 2019, India and Russia signed the intergovernmental agreement for the licensed production of AK203 assault rifles by a joint venture based in Amethi, Uttar-Pradesh. The project was announced by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi during the election campaign. The AK203 program could become a stimulus for the development of the Amethi region, as well as a step in the development of the Uttar Pradesh Defence Industrial Corridor. The unique 100% localization program is to be implemented. The Kalashnikov firearm is also to become a major Indian export product in future.
At the ARMY 2021, the Kalashnikov Group announced that the Indian Ministry of Defense (MoD) may receive the first AK-203 rifles, produced by the Russian-Indian JV Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL), within a few months after the signing of a firm contract by the MoD.
The AK200 series rifles have retained all the features of the traditional AK assault rifle, namely, reliability, durability, and ease of maintenance. AK203 is said to have robust mechanics, to be simple in operation and to have good ergonomics, accuracy and density of fire. It is versatile, adjustable and highly customizable, mostly thanks to a Picatinny rail interface, which enables easy installation of various shooting accessories, including optical and electronic sights.