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Hubballi startup wants to open weapon manufacturing unit, ready to unveil modular pistol

Astr Defence already has three patents for the ‘Indra’ modular small arms platform
Last Updated : 27 September 2022, 17:10 IST
Last Updated : 27 September 2022, 17:10 IST

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He started working on preparing a model of a rifle as part of his Bachelor of Engineering final-year project, and now Hubballi’s Ankush Koravi is working on a prototype of a modular assault rifle, and a indigenously designed and developed modular pistol.

Koravi is taking his entrepreneurship journey quite seriously, as his idea of scaling up his start-up Astr Defence Pvt Ltd, is to set up a weapons manufacturing factory near Hubballi, with in-house R&D, production and testing facilities.

Astr Defence, which was founded by Koravi, already has three patents for the ‘Indra’ modular small arms platform, while applications are also submitted for three patents for ‘Atal’ modular pistol.

‘Indra’ was displayed at India Pavilion of DefExpo-2020 held in Lucknow, and Koravi is preparing to unveil ‘Atal’ at DefExpo-2022 to be held at Gandhi Nagar in Gujarat next month.

DH was the first to report about Astr Defence’s innovations nearly two years ago.

Initially incubated by the Centre for Technology innovation & Entrepreneurship of the KLE Technological University, Astr Defence is now setting up a factory at Kadanakoppa in Kalghatagi taluk. It is expected to be formally inaugurated within two months.

The 25-year-old mechanical engineer’s dream was to develop indigenous, easy-to-use weapons that meet the requirements of the military and the police forces. Koravi now has come up with lightweight adjustable weapons, after a lot of research and development, interaction with army officials, and the guidance of ex-servicemen.

“Rifle and pistol are designed, developed and manufactured totally indigenously. We are the first to do so in the private sector in terms of rifle, and in both the private and government sectors with regard to modular pistol,” said Koravi.

According to the entrepreneur, ‘Indra’ can be used as both assault rifle and carbine, while ‘Atal’ pistol can be used as service weapon or for self-defence by trained civilians or for sports.

They are tailor-made for Indian conditions. ‘Indra’ has already been tested by the Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA), and ‘Atal’ is in the testing stage, Koravi explained.

“Innovative safety mechanisms are adapted in these weapons. Unlike imported and old weapons, they are most suitable for the requirements of the Indian army and police. Their cost would also be 30-40 per cent lesser,” noted Ankush, CEO and founder of Astr Defence.

According to Koravi, the weapons’ manufacturing facility had the approval from the Union Ministry of Home Affairs and has a Rs 6 crore investment in it so far. “It is without any external support, as the investment is made by my father (a businessman) and with the help of bank loans. We are employing 20 persons, mainly freshers, and they would be trained,” he said.

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Published 27 September 2022, 17:10 IST

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