Russian media is reporting this morning that plans are well underway for Kalashnikov AK-103 assault rifles to be manufactured under license in Venezuela. Production is expected to start in 2019 and all tooling equipment is already on site. However, the building contractor for the new plant had to be replaced due to schedule delays and shoddy workmanship.
The AK-103 is an updated version of the 1970’s AK-74M, which was based on the classic WWII-era AK-47 model. The AK-103 uses more plastic components to reduce weight and is capable of supporting a wide variety of accessories such as various optics and a grenade launcher. It is chambered in 7.62X39 (NATO M43) round and is in service with the Russian Federation since 2001.
The legendary Kalashnikov platform of which this model is the current iteration is by far the most popular light arm of all times and is an icon of Russian military industrial prowess.