The Russians have been doing some very interesting things for the last number of years with assault rifles while our own infantry soldiers are still saddled with a rifle that’s now over 40 years old(yes, the M16). The Russians’ focus seems to be in the area of higher hit probability, promulgated by some rather ingenious recoil-reduction mechanisms. DefRev has already reported on the Nikonov AN-94 "Abakan" assault rifle in 5.45x39mm.
Well, here are two more, both of which look like lead contenders to replace the AK-74 currently in use. The AEK-971 and AK-107/108 assault rifles feature seemingly identical recoil reduction/control mechanisms comprised of a counter-balancing "synchronization unit". This mechanism is far different from th pulley mechanism employed by the AN-94. However, it appears to be no less effective. According to DefRev member Max Popenker, the AEK-971 has better(and ambidextrous) controls than the AK-107/108.
Below are links to information pages on each. Both pages have pictures and explain the features of these rifles, as well as the technology employed.
Click here to visit the AEK-971 information page at Max Popenker’s very cool "Modern Firearms and Ammunition" small arms site. Max is from Russia and he’s a DefRev member. His site is excellent, and deserves being bookmarked.
To visit the AK107/108 information page, click on this link. It is located on "Valery Shilin’s Gun Club" site. This is another truly excellent website that should be bookmarked by all DefRev members.