Izhmash to Make Missiles With Other Kalashnikov Corp. Firms
MOSCOW, July 24 (RIA Novosti) – Russia's Izhmash arms factory, manufacturer of the legendary Kalashnikov assault rifle, will produce high-precision antitank missiles in close collaboration with other companies under the umbrella of the future Kalashnikov Corporation, the company said Wednesday.
Izhmash has recently won a 13 billion ruble ($400 million) Defense Ministry tender for the production of Vikhr-1 long-range, supersonic antitank missiles in one of its "largest state orders in recent years."
"Because it [the missile] is a high-tech product, … Izhmash is planning to broadly collaborate with other companies, especially with those that will be part of the future Kalashnikov Corporation," spokesperson Yelena Filatova told reporters.
The new Kalashnikov Corporation, first proposed by Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, is due to be registered in time for Russia's Arms Makers Day, September 19.
The collaboration will include Izhmash, Izhmekh and some other small-arms manufacturers under the famed Kalashnikov brand.
Izhmash has been manufacturing Kalashnikovs since the world-famous assault rifle first went into mass production in 1949, while Izhmekh is best known for producing Makarov and Yarygin pistols.
However, both companies have been recently experiencing financial difficulties and a sharp drop in production output. The government is now hoping to revive them by merging them under the new brand.
Vikhr is a laser-guided antitank missile, produced in Russia since 1982.
Russia's Ka-50 and Ka-52 attack helicopters and Su-25 ground-attack aircraft are armed with these missiles to hit armored targets on the ground or slow-moving aerial targets, such as helicopters.
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