By David Crane
defrev (at) gmail (dot) com
October 1, 2011
A recent article in the The Voice of Russia titled "New rifle to replace Kalashnikov" claims that the Russian "Izmash" company "plans to present its new rifle to the Russian army before the end of this year," a rifle that can go head-to-head with the most modern western military assault rifle/carbines. It's possible that this means that the new Russian military assault rifle/carbine will incorporate a rail system either similar or identical to the U.S. Mil-Std-1913 "Picatinny" rail system, including a top rail and a quad rail forend rail tube/tactical handguards, as well as a free-float barrel system. It's also conceivably possible that the new weapon might even incorporate some kind of rate reduction device and/or recoil attenuation/mitigation system, like on the AEK-971 and AK-107/108 or Nikonov AN-94 "Abakan" assault rifles, which is even more reason for the U.S. Army to include a similar device like the Ferfrans RRS/DSAS (Rate Reduction System/Delayed Sear Activation System) in any M4/M4A1 Carbine replacement weapon or improvement/upgrade package.
O.k., so, while the the U.S. Army has been busy with the Individual Carbine (IC) competition to find the Army's (and U.S. military's) "next carbine", or, failing that, at least improve/upgrade/uprate the current Colt M4/M4A1 Carbine assault carbine with additional and/or superior features and attributes for an "improved carbine and subcompact individual weapon system", the Russkies–oh, I'm sorry, Russians–have been equally busy working to either improve or replace their own aging military assault rifle, the 200 Series Kalashnikov-type assault rifles, including the AK-47/AKM-type 7.62x39mm Russian AK74M and AK-74-type 5.45x39mm Russian AK-105 assault rifles, the modern progeny of the original Kalashnikov AK-47 (7.62x39mm), and it would appear that they're going to beat us to the punch.
"The new rifle can be fitted with optical and night vision devices, which will enhance its precision shooting ability by 2-3 times, and at a distance of an additional 500 meters. The 200 series rifle is comparable to those in service with the American and German armies. The “Izhmash” factory is currently working on a new automatic rifle to replace the old Kalashnikov workhorse. It will be better than its predecessor in fire-power," says Constantine Sivkov, vice president of the Academy of Geopolitical Problems, whatever that is.
The article surmises that the new Russian military assault rifle will "incorporate all the best qualities of the old Kalashnikov, especially reliability and simplicity," which implies that the new rifle could just be yet another evolution of the Kalashnikov rifle platform that incorporates the "latest and greatest" ergonomics, optics mounting, and accuracy enhancements.
There's no word yet on whether or not the Russians plan to also replace the 7.62x39mm Russian and 5.45x39mm Russian cartridges, but it's of course at least theoretically possible that they could move to a single 6-7mm assault rifle cartridge for the optimum combination of terminal ballistics, lethality, hard target penetration capability, and range in a single assault rifle cartridge.
Company Contact Info:
"CONCERN "IZHMASH" OJSC 3, Derjabin Pr., Izhevsk Udmurt Republic, Russia 426006
Representative office in Moscow:
Phone/Fax: (499) 249-53-26
Export Department for sporting and hunting firearms
Phone/Fax: (3412) 783-635
Department for foreign economic activities (military weapons)
Phone/Fax: (3412) 784-858
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