The Russian Army will finally start receiving new Kalashnikov assault rifles chambered for the 5.45×39 mm and 7.62×39 mm rounds after a long-awaited contract was signed with Concern Kalashnikov.
The Russian Defense Ministry and the Kalashnikov Concern signed a three-year contract for the supply of 150,000 AK-12 and AK-15, according to the Interfax news agency.
Interfax also notes that the Russian army will receive 50 thousand AK-12 and AK-15 general purpose military assault rifles in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
According to several media reports, the new weapon has been described as a successor to the famous Soviet-era AK-47 assault rifle, for which the Kalashnikov name is most closely associated.
It is expected that the Ak-12 assault rifle will become the basis for the Russian armed forces.
New general purpose military assault rifles are designed and manufactured by Kalashnikov Concern (formerly Izhmash). It is one of the modern derivatives of the Russian AK-Pattern series of assault rifles The assault rifles received new indices of GRAU 6P70 (5.45 mm caliber AK-12) and 6P71 (7.62 mm caliber AK-15).
On December 20 last year, the Kalashnikov Media portal announced that the concern had begun the first deliveries of AK-12 assault rifles as part of the state defense order. The volume of the shipped consignment was 2.5 thousand automatic machines.
The AK-12 was developed as part of the “Ratnik” program as an element of a promising set of equipment for the soldiers of the Russian Armed Forces.
The concern noted that the Ministry of Defense of Russia is still the only customer of the AK-12, which will gradually replace the AK-74M in the army. But, according to CAWAT’s report, Qatar has displayed what appear to be newly acquired AK-12 assault rifles in a parade to mark the country’s National Day on 18 December. Qatar revealed itself to be the first known exporter user of the modern Russian-made Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifles.