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The Kalashnikov Armory Symphony: how the Russian army can arm itself

19 September 2017

On the Day of the Gunsmith TASS tells about what samples of the famous concern are being developed in the interests of the military department and can replace outdated models.

The famous Kalashnikov assault rifle (AK) and its modifications are the most common small arms in the world. Simple design, cheapness, high combat efficiency and reliability - these are its main features.

Since 1949, automatic weapons have been manufactured at the Izhevsk Arms Factory (Izhmash, part of the Kalashnikov Concern), in different versions are in service with armies and special forces in more than 100 countries, including the US Army. According to some reports, more than 70 million units of this weapon have been manufactured since the creation of the first AK.

Today, the Kalashnikov Concern (part of the Rostek Group of Companies) is creating a large line of both military and civilian weapons, ammunition, high-precision equipment, motorcycles, drones, military boats. In the civilian segment, hunting rifles, sport rifles, and machine tools are supplied to more than 27 countries. But still the main specialization of the enterprise is the creation, development and production of small arms.

Substitution Makarov

In early September, it became known that a compact pistol developed by the Kalashnikov concern, Lebedev PL-15K, could replace the legendary Makarov pistol (PM) in the troops. The video notes that the new weapons were created in the shortest time, and the first shots from the prototypes were made in early August this year.

PL-15K is a compact version of the full-size pistol of Lebedev PL-15, which differs from the basic model in length (18 cm), height (13 cm) and weight (uncharged - 720 g). The magazine capacity is 14 cartridges, the caliber is 9 x 19 mm. The weapon is modular, which makes it easy to change its trunk, sighting devices and install accessories (flashlight, laser pointer and silencer). For the first time the prototype of the pistol was presented at the forum "Army-2017".

The famous PM was developed in 1948 and still remains the main personal weapon of the Russian military.

Microwave instead of SVD

Semiautomatic sniper rifle Chukavina (microwave) - another advanced development of the "Kalashnikov" for precision shooting. It is available in three calibres - 7.62 x 54, and 7.62 x 51 mm (also known as .308 Win, very popular in the world market) and .338 Lapua Magnum. At the same time, in a 7.62 × 54 mm caliber, the microwave is compatible with stores from the SVD (Dragunov sniper rifle), which is considered to be the traditional weapon of the snipers of the Russian army.

According to Alexey Krivoruchko, this rifle has a very big future, the Ministry of Defense and Rosgvardia are interested in, as well as with export partners. There are great prospects in the civil market.

From the conventional small arms of the concern, the microwave is primarily different in layout. The designers decided to leave the traditional circuit with the receiver, which is closed with a lid. The new layout simplifies the mounting of optics, collimator sights, night and thermal imaging attachments and other aiming systems. In the basic configuration, it is equipped with a telescopic butt with an adjustable cheek.

Now Kalashnikov is carrying out serial deliveries of modernized SVD to the Russian Defense Ministry. Rifles received an exceptionally positive assessment of the military, as the design eliminated all the technical drawbacks of the "old" SVD.

SVDM was first presented at the Innovation Day of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in autumn 2015. It differs by the improved scheme of operation of the gas mechanism, the presence of Pikatinni bars for optical sights and shooting accessories, an ergonomic butt.

Automatic machines for "Ratnik"

As part of the military equipment "Ratnik" as a promising weapon for special forces of the Russian army, the concern developed AK-12/15. In fact, this is the next (fifth) generation of Kalashnikov assault rifles of the 2012 model, combining traditional high reliability and ease of maintenance with modern improved ergonomics and increased effectiveness of target destruction.

In the summer of 2017 it became known that the AK-12 passed state tests and all stages of pilot operation. Its serial production can begin in 2018.

AK-12 is planned to be adopted by the Russian army as the main long-barreled firearm. The caliber is 5.45 mm (AK-12) and 7.62 mm (AK-15), the length is 862-922 / 688 mm, weight is 3.5 kg, the store has 30 cartridges.

"Ratnik" is positioned as equipment "soldier of the future". It is a modular system consisting of 10 different subsystems, which can vary depending on the combat situation, climatic conditions and other parameters. The kit includes more than 40 elements, including small arms, aiming systems, individual armor protection, communication equipment and navigational equipment based on GLONASS. At the forum "Army-2017" it became known that the equipment "Ratnik" was adopted and are in series deliveries to the troops.

Light and Manual

In 2016, at the defense exhibition "Army" was presented the initiative development of the concern - an easy 5.45-mm manual RPK-16 machine gun with a replaceable barrel. As the developers note, these weapons by mass (4 kg), dimensions, accuracy and universality practically has no analogues in the world. Serial production of these new light machine guns is planned to begin in 2018.

RPK-16 is the development of the concept of hand-held machine guns RPK-74 (in service with the army since 1974, currently withdrawn from production). It is planned as a potential replacement for the RPK-74 both in conventional troops and in special purpose units.

The novelty was based on the experience of modern armed conflicts. The design of the product allows you to replace the barrel to use it both as a hand gun (long barrel), and as an assault rifle (short trunk). Specially for him, a new store of increased capacity - 96 rounds, which can be used for Kalashnikov assault rifles, was developed.

The "hundredth series" of Kalashnikov

As for the shorter version of the Kalashnikov Kalashnikov caliber 5.45 mm, today the armament of the Russian army and security agencies receive new AK-105 assault rifles. In comparison with AKS-74U (shortened modification of AK74 automatic machine) they have a slightly longer barrel (314 mm in AK-105 against 210 mm in AKS-74U), as well as a more ergonomic forearm.

AK-101/102/103/104 are intended for export, and AK-105, using cartridges of 5.45 × 39 mm (as well as AK-74M) - for the Russian army and law enforcement agencies.

In the automatic machines 102, 104 and 105, the shock trigger was evacuated, avoiding "jerking" and facilitating the descent, and the modified design of the trunk made it possible to improve accuracy. As some experts note, it is the low accuracy of fire in bursts - one of the main disadvantages of AKS-74U.

The design of the "hundredth series" automatic machines uses modern materials that have high impact resistance and resistance to external influences. The presence of a folding butt ensures the convenience of handling weapons when moving, transporting and dropping. So, on the AK-101, it is possible to connect a 40 mm grenade launcher or bayonet knife, there is a side bar for installing optical and night sights, as well as laser and infrared target designators.

It is this series that foreign buyers of weapons are most often interested in. So, in 2016, the international exhibition of weapons Eurosatory became aware that a large batch of AK-103 (caliber 7.62 mm) intends to purchase Pakistan. As noted, "in connection with their adaptation to the hot climate of the country."

Source: TASS.

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