Kalashnikovs set to be made in Saudi Arabia

The AK103 is the latest generation Kalashnikov assault rifle currently offered by Russia’s Izhmash. (Photo courtesy: Kalashnikov Encyclopaedia.com)
Updated 06 October 2017
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Kalashnikovs set to be made in Saudi Arabia

LONDON: The world’s most famous assault rifle is set to be made in Saudi Arabia under a string of preliminary defense deals signed with Russia. 
Russia’s Rosoboronexport said it has struck an initial licensing agreement that could lead to the Kalashnikov being made in the Kingdom. 
The agreement covers the “production of Kalashnikov AK-103 assault rifles and cartridges for various purposes,” a statement said.
A memorandum of understanding between the two sides could also see Russia supply Saudi Arabia with Kornet anti-tank guided missile systems, rocket launchers and automatic grenade launchers.
The preliminary deal also involves the transfer of knowledge in the defense field to Saudi Arabia. The Kingdom has set a target for half of its significant defense budget to be spent within the country. 
This plan now includes the “localization” of the AK-103 assault rifle and its ammunition, according to the Saudi Press Agency.
The Kalashnikov assault rifle is famed for its reliability in wars from Vietnam to Afghanistan. There are reckoned to be at least 100 million AK-47s assault rifles in circulation.
The deal comes as the Russian rifle maker is seeking to attract private sector investment.
Kalashnikov wants to increase the production of arms by as much as 80 percent this year and create 1,700 jobs in the process.
The AK-47 model was developed by Mikhail Kalashnikov after World War II, and was inspired by complaints he had heard from Russian soldiers about their rifles while he was recovering from a wound in 1942. 
It has been the standard military issue rifle in Russia since 1949.


Abdullah Al-Ansari, Saudi Ministry of Interior adviser

Updated 1 min 38 sec ago
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Abdullah Al-Ansari, Saudi Ministry of Interior adviser

  • Al-Ansari has also served as the director-general of legal affairs and international cooperation at the ministry
  • Al-Ansari got his bachelor’s degree in Islamic studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah in 1990

Abdullah Al-Ansari has been an adviser at the Ministry of Interior since December 2018.

He has also served as the director-general of legal affairs and international cooperation at the ministry, and was a board member of the Human Rights Commission from 2009 to 2015.

Al-Ansari got his bachelor’s degree in Islamic studies from King Abdul Aziz University in Jeddah in 1990, his master’s in Islamic jurisprudence from Umm Al-Qura University in Makkah in 1997, and a second master’s, in comparative law, from Harvard in 2000. He has a doctorate specializing in national security laws, international law, comparative law, and human rights from the University of Virginia.

He served as an assistant professor in the Department of Islamic Studies at King Abdul Aziz University from 2009 to 2010, and was a senior fellow specializing in legal affairs and the affairs of Arab countries and the Gulf in the Arabian Peninsula & Gulf Studies Program at the University of Virginia from 2007 to 2010.

Al-Ansari has been a Shoura Council member since December 2016. He has written publications and published research covering law, human rights and combating extremism and terrorism.

He recently led the Saudi delegation at the 28th session of the Commission on Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice in Geneva. He presented a review of the Kingdom’s efforts in crime prevention and criminal justice.

The commission heard that the Kingdom’s security services had uncovered and disrupted active terrorist cells across the country. The delegation said the Kingdom continued to lay the foundations for a long-term strategy to defeat extremism.