Kalashnikov AK-12: Gunmaker Upgrades Assault Rifle Based on Ukraine’s Combat Experience

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A man shoots an AK-12 Kalashnikov assault rifle before a gun show in Russia in 2020.


Gunmaker Kalashnikov has unveiled an upgraded AK-12 assault rifle, with modifications based on the weapon’s use in the war against Ukraine.

Kalashnikov Group chief designer Sergey Urzhumtsev told Russian state media TASS on Friday that the upgrade followed “inputs” gathered from “experience of using the weapon in special operation” – a euphemism for Moscow’s unprovoked invasion of Ukraine.

He added that the first batch of upgraded AK-12s had already been delivered to the “special military operations” area in Ukraine “to clarify returns.”

As part of the upgrade, the rifle’s two-shot burst mode was dropped from the latest design, as it did not increase the weapon’s effectiveness significantly and complicated its layout, according to TASS.

The other changes were aimed at making the rifle easier to use.

The AK-12 has several mounting platforms that allow the installation of additional equipment, such as sights, a foregrip, a flashlight, a laser designator, as well as silent and silent firing devices. flame, according to TASS.

The 5.45mm AK-12 is “the standard service assault rifle of Russian infantry and other units,” according to the Kalashnikov website.

The Russian military has been re-equipping with AK-12 rifles since 2018, according to the Kalashnikov website.

Also on Friday, Kalashnikov said he was launching a drone production unit.

“We created an unmanned aerial vehicle division. We have consolidated all our development and production capabilities and are ramping up production,” Kalashnikov Group Chairman Alan Lushnikov told TASS on Friday.

The new unit will handle ground-based drone launch and control capabilities, as well as everything needed to operate unmanned aerial vehicles effectively, Lushnikov said.

The Kalashnikov group produces tactical-level drones, he said.

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