The Romanian Army has publicly unveiled the prototype of their new 5.56x45mm service rifle at the Expomil 2013 military exhibition in Bucharest. The rifle does not yet have an official name and is just being referred to as the “New 5.56mm Army Rifle”. The prototypes have been in use with Romanian soldiers in Afghanistan and will soon enter mass-production.
As you can see in the photos, it is based on the AK platform but with quite a few changes. They moved the charging handle to the right side of the gas tube. It point upwards at a ~45 degree angle and is non-reciprocating. The handle cannot be switched to the left side. All the new rifle designs, including the AK-12, have either ambidextrous charging handles or handles on the left where it is more ergonomic for right-hand shooters. Placing it on the right hand side, and at a upward angle, is a strange design decision.
The fire control selector has safe, semi-automatic, 3-round burst and automatic modes. The switch is ambidextrous. The dust cover is hinged and has a standard picatinny rail on top.
It will be made in a rifle version with a fixed adjustable stock and a compact carbine version with a shorter barrel and fixed wire stock.
Many thanks to Val for the information.Related