Kalashnikov Concern Plans to Start Production of NATO-Standard Assault Rifle
MOSCOW (Sputnik) - The Kalashnikov Concern is planning to begin mass production of the AK-308 assault rifle with NATO-standard ammunition in 2019, the concern's General Director Vladimir Dmitriev said.
"The factory tests have been completed, and the preliminary tests are coming up. If everything goes well, then this year we will be able to start mass production," Dmitriev said in an interview with Sputnik and the Kommersant newspaper.
"The AK-308 is certainly interesting as a combat weapon, since assault rifles of this calibre are extremely rare, but at the same time we expect that it will have demand domestically as a civilian weapon, because this is one of the main calibres for hunting rifles," Dmitriev said.
The weapon was developed on the basis of the AK-103 assault rifle chambered for 7.62x51 mm rounds (standard rifle and machine-gun ammunition of NATO member countries) with elements and components of the AK-12 automatic rifle, according to the Kalashnikov Concern.
Vladimir Dmitriev also said that Russia and Armenia have signed a contract for the supply of the AK-12 assault rifles to Yerevan.
"For now, I can only say that Armenia will be the first country, other than Russia, which will buy AK-12. The contract has been signed, and we are preparing a first small batch, which consists of about 50 assault rifles," Dmitriev said in an interview.
It was reported earlier that the Russian Defence Ministry adopted into service the AK-12 and AK-15 assault rifles, developed by the Kalashnikov Concern, as part of the Ratnik "future soldier" gear.
The first shipment of these assault rifles was delivered to the Russian military at the end of 2018 in the framework of the state armament order for 2019.
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