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Avtomat Kalashnikov AK-12

AK-12 was developed as part of the Warrior program as an element of a promising set of equipment for soldiers of the Armed Forces of Russia. The recently established Kalashnikov Concern is planning to develop a modernized main battle rifle for the Russian Army and hopes to increase the number of models available for export. The legendary factory in Izhevsk is ready to produce the brand new AK-12 for the Russian army. The price tag of the new AK-12 assault rifle is going to be around a competitive $1,000. The plan was to standardize on a single modernized rifle, the AK-12, to replace three aging rifle models.

The assembly of the new weapon, the development of which was initiated by Izhmash's chief designer Vladimir Zlobin, was completed in 2011. The AK-12 is being developed for export purposes. However, it also meets the requirements of the Defense Ministry, which the ministry has for the equipment of the soldiers of the Russian army. If there's an order, the enterprise will be ready to arrange the shipments of the AK-12 for the Armed Forces and special units of the Russian Federation.

The AK-12 has classic configuration, which creates a constructively simple automatic rifle with an option to mount powerful muzzles and large magazines. The new rifle is created as a basic platform, which will then be used for the development of nearly 20 different modifications of civil and military firearms. The caliber of cartridges used for the new rifle may vary from 5,45x39 to 7,62x51 mm.

Designers enhanced the ergonomics of the new rifle. The controls of the weapon (the lock, the selector of the kind of fire, the clip latch, the bolt latch) became available for one hand, which a person holds the weapon with.

The Picatinny rails were integrated in the construction of the AK-12. The rails are used to mount additional equipment: optical, collimating and night sights, mexometer, grenade launchers, lights, target indicators and other equipment. The devices allow to use the weapon effectively during any time of the day.

The new rifle also has the folding stock, and the height-adjustable heelpiece. The operating rod handle of the AK-12 can be mounted either on the left or on the right, which makes the weapon comfortable for both left-handed and right-handed people.

The list of novelties includes three fire modes: single shots, three shots and automatic fire. The muzzle of the assault rifle has been amended to shoot foreign-made barrelled grenades. Specialists currently design new magazine cases for the AK-12 - for 95 cartridges.

To increase the efficiency of single fire, the AK-12 was equipped with a new mechanic sight with enhanced sightline. The changes also touched upon the firing mechanism and the construction of the gun group. The AK-12 also uses state-of-the-art technologies in the field of coatings and materials. Over ten technological solutions will be introduced and patented when building various models of the assault rifle.

A large range of military models would be created on the basis of the rifle: pistols, machine guns, assault rifles and light machine guns both of common and special purpose. The press, however, has criticized the weapon. In particular, the Independent Military Review wrote that, despite the improved design of the new model of the legendary weapon, the new AK-12 can hardly be referred to as a "fifth-generation" assault rifle.

In September 2013 it was reported that the AK-12 originally intended as an infantry rifle was passed over by the Russian military. Senior commanders said they did not need the AK-12 when the army had millions of AK-74s stockpiled. No announcement had been made by the Defense Ministry about modernizing the AK-74. Kalashnikov moved forward with trials of the AK-12 assault rifle for law enforcement agencies.

Commercial production of Russia's new Kalashnikov (AK-12) and Degtyarev (A-545) assault rifles will be launched in February 2015 so that the Defense Ministry could choose weapons for the new "soldier of the future" gear upon the results of tests expected to be completed by late 2015. State trials of assault rifles AK-12 and A-545 were completed in January 2015. The defense agency tested several blueprints of each assault rifle and found that both submachine guns meet all requirements of the Defense Ministry. Degtyarev armoury has already rectified all flaws found at A-545 state trials and is ready for commercial production. Kalashnikov weapons producer is about to complete similar work for AK-12.

"The final decision will be made after statistical data of trials is obtained," Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov told Izvestia, noting that "as a pilot batch will be already produced on commercial scale, the price level which will also affect the Defense Ministrys decision in some way will become almost clear for us.... For a fair comparative analysis assault rifles produced in Izhevsk and Kovrov will be delivered to the same military units".

Assault rifles of new generation are being developed to replace AK-74M in the army and to be included in Ratnik military gear which would start to be delivered to troops in the spring of 2015.

The military agency planned to buy at least 100 assault rifles of each model for a pilot batch and will deliver them to the Ground Troops and the Airborne Troops, the Defense Ministry noted. In 2015, these weapons will be tested in real conditions of combat training, checking their reliability, ergonomics and other features.

According to experts estimates, the Degtyarev assault rifle outstrips AK-12 in terms of the accuracy and fastness of shooting, but the latter is more suitable for massive use, prime cost calculations are also in favour of Kalashnikov.

The AK-12 which was presented previously as part of the new combat gear Ratnik could not meet all requirements of the elite forces.

On 20 December 2019, the Kalashnikov Media portal announced that the concern had begun the first deliveries of AK-12 assault rifles as part of the state defense order. The volume of the shipped consignment amounted to 2.5 thousand automatic machines. The concern noted that the Russian Defense Ministry is still the only customer of the AK-12, which will gradually replace the AK-74M in the army.

The delivery of the first batch of AK-12 serial machines in the amount of 2.5 thousand units was the first mass purchase of new gunsin the past 30 years. The Russian Deputy Minister of Defense Alexey Krivoruchko told reporters on 21 December 2018 when he visited the enterprises of the Kalashnikov concern. For almost 30 years, there have been no purchases of new automata, so the prospect of new automata is there, there is a need to be updated. This work was planned several years ago, and now it goes to the production level, Krivoruchko said.

He added that the delegation of the Ministry of Defense was convinced of the readiness of the concern for the mass production of the new weapon. "In my opinion, the company is fully prepared, the preparation is all done here, and this only confirms the first shipment. Therefore, mass production, we can assume, is established," said Krivoruchko. According to him, the rearmament program further provides for a multiple increase in the supply of the new weapons.

The deputy head of the military department noted that the decision on which units will be the first to receive the new gun would be made in the first quarter of 2019, while the machine guns arrive at the warehouses of the Defense Ministry.


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Page last modified: 29-05-2019 18:54:50 ZULU