Kalashnikov designs new firearms
The Kalashnikov Group is completing the design of the latest firearms, CEO Dmitry Tarasov told RBC. Trials of the Lebedev PL (previously PL-15) full-size pistol will be completed this year to replace Makarov PM. PL is currently in test operation. It was designed for law enforcers and the Defense Ministry. PL will be tested in several modifications.
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Kalashnikov 5.45x39mm RPL-20 machinegun (Picture source: Vitaly Kuzmin)
Kalashnikov Group also hopes to sign a new contract for 5.45mm AK-12 rifle with the Defense Ministry. It is supplied to Kazakhstan and Armenia. The design of the rifle for 5.56mm cartridge designated as AK-19 was completed in late 2020.
The technical project of RPL-20 machinegun, which debuted at Army-2020 forum, is being implemented and Tarasov expects the first results in 2023.
Trials of the latest Chukavina (Ugolek) sniper rifle and small Malysh AM-17 assault rifle will be completed in 2021.
Kalashnikov is working to expand positions in the foreign arms market. The joint Russian-Indian project to create Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL) Company for the production of Russian rifles in India is at the final stage.
Tarasov said “a major step” towards the supplies would be made in the first or second quarter of 2021. The Kalashnikov is also negotiating AK-103 rifle production with Saudi Arabia. It was agreed in a memorandum of October 2017. Tarasov said the deal was delayed by COVID-19 pandemic.
Kalashnikov continues to design new firearms and will display AKV-521 rifle at Army-2021 forum. It differs from the classical AK scheme.
The group also designs drones. Tarasov said the Defense Ministry had procured a batch of drones, which were engaged in the counterterrorist operation in Syria. He said loitering munitions created by the company are characterized by a high level of design.
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