Russian weapons to be produced in the U.S. and NATO-standard calibered rifles in Russia

The U.S. intends to establish the production of various Russian weapons and ammunition, developed back in the days of the Soviet Union and upgraded since, learned citing Michael Peck and his article in Forbes magazine. Boyko Nikolov explains.
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An Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) soldier shoots an AK-47 assault rifle during a drill at Al Taqaddum, Iraq, July 8, 2019 (Picture source: U.S. Army/Spc. Zachary Myers)

Peck said that the United States showed interest in Soviet-era assault rifles because they could be used by its allies in the Middle East and Africa. So, the U.S. wants to establish the production of Soviet weapons for foreign supplies. The U.S. Army’s wish list is a staggering variety, as Michael Peck expressively puts it. It hit anti-tank guided missiles, and ground and air-based missiles, and ammunition for howitzers and mortars of various calibers, but in the first place are the legendary Kalashnikov assault rifles.

The United States decided to organize production on its territory for several reasons. First, Soviet weapons are sold on the market, but buying them is not easy. Second – some countries in Europe prohibit its transit through its territory. Third, some suppliers of such weapons are politically unseemly for the United States.

The modernized Russian machine gun RPK-16 was praised by U.S. experts. The main advantage of RPK-16 on the RPK-74 is the presence of an additional bracket, which serves to switch the shooting mode. In addition, RPK-16 was equipped with a telescopic butt. The manufacturer prepared an assault barrel with a length of 410 mm for firing in urban conditions, and for the military, the barrel length is 550 mm.

On its side, Russia is already producing a copy of the AR-15: experts from Promtekhnologii, the manufacturer of ORSIS rifles, have developed a smooth-bore analogue of the American AR-15 assault rifle. The semi-automatic AR-15 is designed for the civilian market and the police. “Previously, we have already created rifles of the AR-15 type under the NATO 5.56 cartridge for 45 millimeters and for the Soviet machine gun 7.62 for 39 millimeters. Now our designers adapted the well-known platform for a very interesting Russian smooth-bore cartridge .366 TKM,” ORSIS said. As stated in ORSIS, tests of the new weapons showed accuracy comparable to the accuracy of a rifled 7.62-mm rifle.

Kalashnikov plans to begin mass production of its AK-308 in NATO caliber. The development of the AK-308 is based on the AK-103 chambered for 7.62×51 mm rounds, which are one of NATO member countries’ standard rifle and machine-gun ammunition. The Kalashnikov Concern states that components and elements of the automatic rifle AK-12 are also involved.