As part of the recent Russian re-armament program including the T-14 Armata man battle tank, the T-50 air superiority fighter, and the AK-12 and A545 rifles, the Federation has initiated a program for a new 5.45mm caliber squad support weapon, called “Tokar-2”. The weapon being developed uses a combined belt and magazine feed system, similar to the system utilized by the Belgian-American M249 5.56mm automatic rifle.
The requirements for the new rifle are interesting, including compatibility with as-yet experimental 60 round magazines (no mention, oddly, of the supposedly second-generation 50 round magazines). Thanks to TFB fiend Retiv, we have a translation of the requirements, available in Russian here and here:
2.3 Name of product: 5.45 mm handheld assault machinegun with a combined feed “KORD-5.45”, abbreviated – “Kord-5.45” MG.
2.4 Index – PR-5.45.
3.1 Composition of the machine gun
3.1.1 The barrels:
3.1.3 The bolt frame.
3.1.4 The spring.
3.1.5 The stock, telescopic, folding.
3.1.6 folding bipod, telescopic, removable.
3.1.7 Tactical grip and carrying handle.
3.1.8 The cover of the receiver.
3.1.10 Receiver cover.
3.1.11 Flash hider
3.1.13 60 round magazines, 6 per each MG
3.1.14 Belt for MG, 14 parts with 50 pieces each [50 bullets]
3.1.15 Cartridge box with a capacity of 100/250 rounds (two boxes of each kind).
3.1.16 Carrying strap small arms type 6SH5.
3.1.17 sleeve for firing blank.
3.1.18 Tool kit, accessories and spare parts (spare parts box).
3.1.19 Bags for magazines with a “Malle” mounting system – 3 pcs. 2 mag. (60 rounds) each.
3.1.20 Bags for cartridge boxe (100/250 round), 2 pcs. on the gun.
3.1.21 Case for carrying a machine gun.
3.1.22 The transport containers.
3.14.1 On machine gun should be provided connecting position (“Picatinny rail”) over the entire length of the receiver.
3.14.2 Installation of optical sight (such as sight “Narodovolets”) with mounting places for night (thermal) vision on connecting places on p.3.14.1 should not affect the convenience of the service dealing with a machine gun.
3.14.3 On the machine gun should be provided connecting space (bracket type “Picatinny”) in the forearm area.
3.14.3 Machine gun must have a folding stock, adjustable in length and height adjustable support under the cheek.
3.14.4 Machine gun must have a mechanical sight for firing at ranges of 100 to 800 m in increments of installation of the sight of 100 m.
3.14.5 Magazine location – lower part of the gun, ± 15 ° from the vertical.
3.14.6 The design of machine gun ammunition feed system shall be able to accept both belts and magazines (“combined feed”): use the AK-74 and RPK-74 machine gun magazines and belts.
3.14.7 60 rounds magazines should be able to be use in the AK-74 and RPK-74.
3.14.8 The machine gun has to have an ambidextrous safety.
While the Americans seem to be leaning towards magazine-fed support weapons with the Marine Corps’ M27 Infantry Automatic Rifle, and the US Army’s Next-Generation Squad Automatic Rifle proposal, the Russians are exploring the dual magazine- and belt-fed automatic rifle concept fielded by the Americans and other nations in the West starting in the 1980s.
Like the Americans, however, the Russians are interested in a support weapon that is optics and suppressor ready, and which is compatible with the full range of modern accessories. The option for both long and short barrels, too, reflects a close attention to Western developments.
Thanks to Retiv for the tip!