BREAKING NEWS: Russian Army To Standardize AK-12

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The Russian Ministry of Defense has selected Kalashnikov Concern’s AK-12 rifle to be the next standard-issue service weapon. Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov says that up to 70,000 AK-12s are expected to be delivered in 2015, Vestifinance.ru reports:

Минобороны выбрало автомат АК-12 для российской боевой экипировки военнослужащего “Ратник”, заявил в эфире “Русской службы новостей” замминистра обороны Юрий Борисов.
“Это уже решенный вопрос. Это автомат “Ижмаш” Ак-12. Цена и качество оказались привлекательными для нас”, – отметил Борисов. Вооруженные Силы России могут получить в этом году до 70 тыс. образцов “Ратника”.

На 2015 г. намечены бросковые испытания тяжелой стотонной баллистической ракеты “Сармат”. “Я думаю, что мы завершим ОКР в соответствии с планами”, – пояснил Борисов.

Новшества, заложенные в “Сармат”, позволят новой ракете значительно превзойти предыдущее поколение баллистических ракет. “Полезная нагрузка этой ракеты – до 10 тонн”, – подчеркнул замминистра.

По его словам, завершен эскизный проект боевого железнодорожного ракетного комплекса (БЖРК), комплекс создадут в рамках госпрограммы вооружений до 2020 г.

“Закончен эскизный проект. Все идет по плану”, – заявил Борисов. Минобороны не видит технических сложностей в создании комплекса. Раз комплекс смогли сделать в середине 1980-х гг., то нет никаких сомнений, что российские предприятия способны создать БЖРК в нынешних условиях, заключил замминистра.

Defense Ministry chose AK-12 Russian military equipment soldier “Warrior,” said the radio “Russian news service” Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov.
“It’s already a done deal. This machine” Izhmash “Ak-12. Price and quality were attractive to us,” – said Borisov. Russian Armed Forces can get this year to 70 thousand. Samples “warrior.” In 2015 scheduled throwing hundred-ton heavy test of a ballistic missile “Sarmatian”. “I think that we will finish the ROC in accordance with the plans,” – said Borisov. The innovations incorporated in the “Sarmatian”, will allow the new launch to outperform the previous generation of ballistic missiles. “The payload of the rocket – up to 10 tons,” – said the deputy minister. According to him, completed the preliminary design of combat rail missile system (BZHRK), the complex will create within the state armaments program until 2020 “finished draft design. Everything is going according to plan” – said Borisov. Defense Ministry sees no technical difficulties in creating complex. Once the complex could do in the middle of the 1980s., There is no doubt that Russian companies are able to create BZHRK in the current environment, the Deputy Minister concluded.

It is not surprising to me that the AK-12 was chosen. Between the desire to preserve an ailing Kalashnikov Concern, and the traditional conservatism of Russian procurement, the AK-12 could have been reasonably predicted to win the contract. Only the superior full-auto performance (for 70 years a major thorn in Russian small arms developers’ sides) of the A545 cast doubts upon the choice, in my mind.

Despite being fundamentally an AK, the AK-12 does itself bring serious improvements to the table. Improvements in ergonomics, recoil characteristics, and compatibility with Western optics and accessories (such as rifle grenades) offers a very real step up over the AK-74M, making the purchase more than just indulging the Russian small arms industry (though it certainly is that).



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He can be reached via email at nathaniel.f@staff.thefirearmblog.com.


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  • Steve Truffer

    Argh I hate that font. Cyrillic “Т” should not look like an “m”.

    • Harry Smith

      This shape for the “t” letter is the standard shape for the “italic” fonts. It copies the shape of the handwritten Cyrillic “t”. If you will copy the text and paste it in the notepad, the “t” letter will become normal. Hope this will help you in the future, bro.

    • KestrelBike

      That’s how it’s written in handwriting (or as Harry Smith says, when italics are used).

  • Tom – UK

    This means that the Russian Army/Navy/Airforce and Missile command need to think of something to do with their 17 Million+ AK-74s. I presume the ban on the importing ofcertain Russian firearms might prevent the USA getting them so who will?

    • TB

      Well, the local hardware stores in Eastern Ukraine must be running quite low by now, considering the staggering amount of sophisticated equipment the pro-russian “concerned citizens” and Russian soldiers on vacation have been able to pick up from there, so they might need to increase their stocks. 🙂

    • US machine gun regulations prevent the US from getting them.

    • ManBear

      17 million!? Holy ….

      I’ll take 10 please 🙂

  • oooo

    they chose ak-12 to save kalasinikov

    A545 supposed to be a winner

    • Zugunder

      Overcomplicated mechanism just for balanced recoil? They could’ve choose AK-107 for that matter, there you have balanced recoil + “saving Kalashnikov”. Apparently they don’t feel that much need in balanced full auto fire.

    • John

      Russia is in the middle of a “police action” with Ukraine, and possibly a few other countries to boot. This is not a good time for a major Russian weapons factory to go under, particularly one that has been supplying the armed forces for 70-plus years.

      Professionals study tactics, strategy, and logistics. It’s all important.

  • mosinman

    i wish the Russians could dump all their unneeded Ak-74s over here

    • morokko

      Well, they also seem to be prone to giving away some free of charge soldiers along with the hardware. Its a real bargain. This kind of generosity just pours from their noble (pan)slavic soul .

      • boris

        you dont seem to have a problem with their hookers in the usa ?
        or is that kind of acceptance part of noble white pan-western soul?

    • Guest

      according to russian law its illegal to sell military surplus even thou there about 17 million of ak74 in storage, and god know how many ak47 sks mosin ppsh, most thing we see is from other place like Czechoslovakia Ukraine, but not Russia it self. I’ve seen and interview with Andrey Kirisenko he is tester-advisor to the military, and perception was that ak74, is there to stay for sometime atleast and that there aint much difference between it and ak12, except inbuilt toprail. and that ak74 much more likely get upgrade in optics and other accessories. but still remain in main service for sometime. imho ak12 isnt as good as it could of be

      • Albert Einstein

        It is also against the law to invade Ukraine. No one cares.

  • J.T.

    “the desire to preserve an ailing Kalashnikov Concern”

    That about sums it up right there. The sanctions have hit them hard and I doubt they will go away without a leadership change in Moscow. With full scale fighting starting back up in Ukraine, more sanctions are likely and I wouldn’t be surprised if they included ammo producers.

  • Bal256

    Ive never been a fan of the ak12. Its as if they took design advice from glock. Theres something classic about the lines of the ak74 currently in service. However, looks are always secondary to function. If it allows adjustment, optics, and recoil reduction (5.45? What recoil?), it would be a nice way for the Russians to go 21st century, even though I feel a 21st century gun should be a bullpup.

    • wetcorps

      You mean like this? 🙂

      • Phillip Cooper

        What on earth is this thing?

        • wetcorps

          Korobov TKB-022. A Soviet (in case you didn’t notice from the sheer amount of bakelite) experimental gun from the sixties.
          It competed to replace the AK, but was definitely too advanced for its time. Heck, we still have a hard time comprehending it today.

        • Albert Einstein

          It’s “the future”

    • Esh325

      It seems rather odd with me they would just go ahead with the ak12 without even testing it against the a545 like originally intended. Recoil on fully automatic is their concern. The Russians hsve always expiremented with ways to have a more accurate full auto and burst weapon

      • Grump

        I’ve seen footage somewhere of the AK-12 doing a mag dump and it appears the A-545’s FA controllability advantage is marginal.

        Some of that could be due to the AK-12’s considerably lower cyclic rate of fire, (650 rpm vs 900) but it seems quite a bit of attention was paid to minimizing cycling disturbances without resorting to counterweights.

      • Albert Einstein

        AK-12… which is heavy as balls for an AK already
        + muzzle brake
        + optics
        +5.45×39

        = rifle isn’t going to freaking move in full auto.

    • Nicholas Mew

      The ADS seems to be the best option.

  • Vitsaus

    “It is not surprising to me that the AK-12 was chosen. Between the desire to preserve an ailing Kalashnikov Concern, and the traditional conservatism of Russian procurement, the AK-12 could have been reasonably predicted to win the contract….making the purchase more than just indulging the Russian small arms industry (though it certainly is that.)”

    Sounds awful familiar… not a trace of irony?

  • Lance

    I don’t buy just one Russian news papers finding here. Overall most AK-12s bought would be for SPetZ Naz and Special forces we. They had a annoucement a few years ago sayng the same thing. A week later it was denied, believe it when you see it.

    Just don’t buy it until it seen happening.

    • I’ve seen it in about five news websites, and different citations, too. Far from just one.

    • LCON

      Lance This is just the latest upgraded model not a totally new system, thats why it might just see deployment. Think less Revolution more evolution. And for the Russian Army we see that all the time look at there tank hulls mostly heavy modifications of there direct predecessors.

  • Are they all going to be this color?

  • ColaBox

    Ok but how does it compare to an old AK? Is it made with tight tendencies like most modern rifles or loose? Can it be buried in an icy tundra for 2 millennia and still work when you pick it back out? All this information and still no word on its durability or reliability.

    • It passed Russian state acceptance tests, the same ones that produced the original AK.

    • LCON

      despite the new skin, the bolt and operation are still AK. this is refinement not clean sheet. all the features listed are proven on modern non russian AK and other assault rifles.

  • kev

    What will happen to the A545? Will it see service alongside the ak 107 as a special operations weapon like the SCAR?

  • toms

    Translation….. Since we will be forced to bail out Kalashnikov Concern to a tune of 1 billion dollars this year, we have decided to make them give us 70,000 new rifles in exchange. The A545 is supposedly the better rifle according to the few end users I have spoken with but the AK12 is only a marginal improvement over the 74M. Also Russia is giving older 74’s hand over fist to separatists; however, the stockpiles of newer models are not as high. The older ones are reserved exclusively for E Ukraine as it doesn’t look good for 1 year old rifles to turn up enmass in a country you are supposedly not occupying. Older rifles given away, newer models getting burned up, why not switch to a newer design so we can mount our pirated Elcans and legally imported eotechs. Still I wonder if the funds will be available, I expect only elite units will get these if anyone at all.

    • John

      >newer models getting burned up

      I’d bet money on those newer models being sold instead. In fact, I’d bet that Russian arms dealers are testing the waters with certain rebel groups in Africa. Such as Boko Haram. Why? Cold cash is always a reason, and it looks like Boko Haram might be controlling a large part of Nigeria now, so you’ll always want a way in with the locals.

      • Kurt Akemann

        The models being sent to Ukraine are 5.45x39mm, which is not widely used in Africa. To sell rifles there, they’d have to be 7.62x39mm.

    • My understanding is that the A545 is more accurate in fully automatic, but the AK-12 is cheaper.

      • toms

        Yes by about 100$ or less. The A545 has a lot of positive attributes, burst accuracy being the most significant. In addition to the cost, the older generals are also loath to deviate too far from the rifle they all adore, that is the 74. I think the price difference would equalize abit after mass production. One SME on a popular gun forum that begins with M…com. claims that the Russian high speed guys loath the 74, feel its unreliable, and that in his opinion it is the most unreliable service rifle ever designed. If its true I never heard a Russian or Ukrainian soldier complain about the reliability of the system. People treat him like a gun god so if its true these guns are going to have problems too. Both of the rifles are going to be far more expensive than the current 74.

  • Gern Blanston

    gee thats great for loser comi b*stards – I’ve standardized on an AR-15, a Noreen BN36 AR10 chambered in 30-06, HK, Sig Sauer, and a few other AMERICAN made pistols…

    • guest

      Never get off the valium and/or medicinal marijuana.

      • Gern Blanston

        I’m completely drug/prescription free so do us all a favor and go hang yourself

        • Craig Johanson

          You need to stop posting. Seriously, did you parents get mugged by a rogue blin or something?

          You know what I don’t get? The Russians don’t hate us anywhere near as much as we seem to hate them. Some of them aren’t happy about the Cold War ending with the collapse of their country, way of life, and economy, the results of which are still hurting to this day and for long into the foreseeable future. However, it seems like Americans really really hate Russians on a personal, almost racial level. What’s up with that?

          • Gern Blanston

            you couldnt be MORE WRONG! putin would love nothing more than to collapse this country and try to take it over – man up douchebag! btw I dont hate anyone – I do however take extreme prejudice to anyone who wants to force a way of living that is contrary to how this Country was set up – freedom based on Judea Christian Values!

          • noguncontrol

            Putin is no threat to any country based on Judeo Christian values, He has supported Judeo Christian values in Russia. And has called for countries to protect Christianity in places like the middle east. I’m a Christian Conservative myself. What has Putin done as president of Russia against the United States? nothing.

            Russia wants America as a business partner, a trading partner, especially since they have a lot of oil and guns they would love to sell to America, not as an enemy. In fact this whole Ukraine issue was started by the EU. If the EU just stayed out of Ukraine, none of this would be a problem, and Crimea would still be part of Ukraine. The EU hates Putin and Russia, because the EU hates Judeo Christian values, and they want to add another country to add to their anti Christian sphere of influence.

            And, Russian was a second official language in the Eastern parts of Ukraine, but what did the new leaders in Kiev do after they kicked out the old leader? They banned Russian and made Ukrainian the only official language, so how did you expect the Russian speaking people in Eastern Ukraine to react?

            Do you really want Ukraine to be part of the anti Christian EU?
            I dont!

          • Yellow Devil

            There’s a difference between hating “the people” and hating the government. Personally, I find most Americans if not liking or caring either way, at least respect them. Particularly the Russian women.

            Putin and the government on the other hand? Well…

        • Ok guys back off on the insults—

  • LCON

    might see A545 in more specialized roles but I doubt they will field any thing other then AK12’s across the Russian army. as to Officers and NCO’s AK12 compact.

  • LCON

    AK12 makes a lot of sense given the cost of production and similarities to existing AK’s. the next questions Are in my mind are they going to adopt the whole concepts. Meaning is the AK12 not just phasing in to the AK74M spot but the AK105 Carbine/AKs74U, the SVD, RPK and Saiga to??

  • kev

    Exactly my thoughts especially since the Russians are also updating the ak107 and the a545 was used in the ratnik demos

  • noguncontrol

    i like that camo pattern.

  • Дмитрий Богуславский

    The trouble with AK-12 – there is nothing there that could gain performance of fa fire comparing to ak-74.
    As showed on different pics, they lightened the carrier, added perforated gas tube and changed the muzzle brake.
    As the moving mass is now lighter and extra gas is heating the atmosphere – there would be troubles with reliability and in field use as well.
    There are couple questions on the muzzlebrake design, it’s performance, and most of all – sound level.
    A545 as it’s predcessors based on the same principle loosing for the 3rd time already in the past 40 years, so – no surprise here.

    Reading the TFB quite often, I’am beggining to think you guys need to find a way to translate and publish some of the russian technical articles regarding the AK74,AN-94 and other intresting guns.
    Cause most of the comments are more like “based on the internet mythology”

    Regards.