The news concerning the establishment of an AK-103 assembly line in Armenia has been reported by several Armenian and Russian sources within the past month, however, there was no official statement. Yesterday, this information was officially confirmed as the Government of the Republic of Armenia published a news release covering Armenian Prime Minister Nikol Pashinyan’s visit to the assembly facility which is set up on the premises of a local defense company called “Neutron GAM” CJSC.
According to the Armenian government press release, the agreement of licensing the assembly of AK-103 rifles was signed between Kalashnikov Concern and a local company called “Royalsys Engineering Ltd.” back in August of 2018. It is likely the same agreement or part of thereof which was supposed to lead to the start of licensed manufacturing of AK-12 rifles in Armenia.
The capacity of the new assembly line is estimated to be 50,000 AK-103 rifles per year. The produced rifles will be both supplied to the Armed Forces of Armenia and exported. No information is specified concerning the potential export markets and planned export volumes.
AK-103 is one of the 100-series AK rifles that were introduced in the mid-’90s as successors of pretty much all previously existing iterations of AK rifles. The AK-103 is a full-size rifle chambered in 7.62x39mm and equipped with a polymer handguard, folding polymer stock, side scope rail and AK-74 pattern muzzle device.
During the same event, a number of other products were also introduced to the Prime Minister and government officials accompanying him. Most notably, a new line of locally made thermal observation devices and scopes was revealed. It was also announced that “Neutron GAM” CJSC is moving ammunition production from the capital city Yerevan to a new facility in Kotayk Province where they will manufacture 7.62x39mm, 7.62x54mmR, 12.7x108mm, 9x18mm and 9x19mm ammunition. Apparently, the company is expanding its ammunition manufacturing capabilities as it was reported that they have signed a $24 million contract with a Russian company called “Spetsmashinzhiniring” OJSC which will supply new ammunition manufacturing equipment and modernize the existing machinery.
“Վարչապետն այցելել է Հայաստանում բացված «Կալաշնիկով» ինքնաձիգի արտադրամաս”. (2020, July 7). The Government of the Republic of Armenia. Retrieved from: https://www.primeminister.am/hy/press-release/item/2020/07/07/Nikol-Pashinyan-Visit-To-Kalashnikov-Factory/
Images from www.gov.am, www.primeminister.am