An image of a mysterious new Russian machine gun was leaked to the public recently, during a visit to the Kalashnikov factory by Deputy Defense Minister Yuri Borisov. The weapon is an intriguing dual-feed magazine/belt loading gun that features distinctly un-AK-like underbarrel gas tube, as well as integral top and bottom Picatinny-type rails. Little is known about the weapon besides its name
which is reportedly “RPK-400” (Ручной пулемёт Калашникова -400, or “Handheld Kalashnikov Machine Gun 400”) EDIT: That is apparently the name of the modernized RPK-74 that is on the far left in the image
It is evident, however, that the weapon is designed to conform to the
Russian Army’s MVD’s (thanks Tritro) “Tokar-2” dual-feed 5.45x39mm squad automatic weapon program to replace the RPK-74. Whereas the Americans seem inclined to move away from dual-feed weapons like the Minimi, or at least towards more magazine fed support weapons, the Russians appear to be embracing the concept in earnest.
If the Kalashnikov
RPK-400 enters the Tokar-2 competition, it can be expected to face off against Degtyarev’s “Kord-5.45” weapon made to the same requirements. Regardless, both weapons will accompany the Kalashnikov AK-12 as part of the new Russian Federation’s “Ratnik” infantry system EDIT: so far as I know the MVD is not involved in “Ratnik”.
Thanks to Retiv and Max for their help identifying this rifle!