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Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMD)

Russian Military to Dispose of 4 Mln Guns by 2015 Paper

RIA Novosti

12:08 14/03/2012

MOSCOW, March 14 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Defense Ministry is planning to dispose of four million obsolete guns, mainly Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifles, by 2015, the Russian daily Izvestia reported on Wednesday.

According to a source in the Russian defense industry quoted by the paper, out of 16 million guns accumulated at military warehouses, 6.45 million are worn-out.

Russian First Deputy Defense Minister Alexander Sukhorukov said in September last year that the ministry possessed 17 million Kalashnikovs.

Analysts say the number of guns in storage is excessive for Russia’s military forces that account for one million servicemen.

The AK-74 is the most widely used and well-known assault rifle in the world. It is used by armies of some 50 countries, as well as by countless guerrilla movements.

In January, Russia's largest firearms manufacturer, Izhmash, unveiled a prototype of its new Kalasnikov assault rifle designed to replace the outdated guns.

The legendary Kalashnikov assault rifle

The new rifle, dubbed AK-12, has improved ergonomics and tactical flexibility, and is being designed as a basic platform for the development of nearly 20 different modifications of the weapon. It could be adapted for cartridges varying from 5.45x39 mm to 7.62x51 NATO.

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