Russia Begins Issuing AK-12 & 100,000 “Ratnik” (Upgrade) kits to its Land Forces and develops “Ratnik-3” (Future Soldier)

Ratnik - 660x389

According to RIA Novosti and TASS (Russian news agencies) Land Forces of Russian Federation started issuing “Ratnik” (Warrior) kits to the troops. As covered earlier on TFB, Ratnik includes a number of upgrades to existing weapons and gear, as well as new equipment. They’ve already issued about 100,000 such kits, which generally receive positive feedback from the soldiers.

Commander of Russian Land Forces Colonel General Oleg Solyukov said, that they continuously modernize and upgrade Ratnik program. They will keep adding and modifying its components to keep up with the changing requirements of the troops. They also plan to purchase and issue 70,000 more kits annually.

In the video above Russian troops are testing Ratnik equipment in Alabino proving ground (near Moscow).

Judging from what appears in the video, there is a later model AK-12, which is basically a heavily upgraded and accessorized AK-74, and an AEK-971 balanced action rifle. Both rifles were initially announced to be included in the program.

“Ratnik-3”

Russia also has announced about future development of the program – “Ratnik-3”. Russian companies have already started working on this next generation project. They will develop an exoskeleton, advanced helmet and target designation systems and adaptive camouflage to include in Ratnik-3. This new program will presumably be ready for trials and adoption somewhere between 2025 and 2030.

Ratnik-3 Soldier

Ratnik-3 concept

I think this is absolutely the biggest advance in Russian infantry equipment and small arms since the collapse of the Soviet Union.

RIA Novosti

TASS



Hrachya H

I was born and currently live in Armenia, where I work in a family business of leather goods manufacturing. Being a retired sergeant of my country’s armed forces and a lifelong firearms enthusiast, I always enjoy studying firearms design, technology and history. Also my knowledge of Russian allows me to translate and make Russian/Soviet/Combloc small arms related information available for the English speaking audience.
Should you need to contact me, feel free to shoot me a message at TFBHrachyaH@gmail.com


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  • ReadyorNot

    So many mil. procurement announcements out of Russia it’s difficult to separate fact from propaganda. That’s a neat red dot design, I thought it was a EOTech at first, but looks like an indigenous design?

    • Minuteman

      Looks like an Aimpoint Comp M4 style knock-off (Ratnik-3 concept pic).

      • ReadyorNot

        Hah, thanks for pointing that out! Even the battery compartment location is the same placement.

        • Anomanom

          Its a Valdai PG-210 holographic sight. There aren’t many pictures of it, but it’s definitely not a Comp M4. More like an EOTech.

          • ReadyorNot

            Thanks and I believe Minuteman is referencing the pictures in the article and not the video which I was referencing. EOTech style for sure on the PG-210 with apparent influences from the Mepro RDS and MARS sights. Looks pretty neat.

      • Tritro29

        … Not exactly, because the battery isn’t what you’re looking at, even though Valdai makes Aimpoint Comp comparable designs. Looks are sometimes deceiving. That’s a mock up of a 3x optical sight, not a 1x collimator.

        • Minuteman

          I’m well aware of the different spot of the battery housing. The tube just looks Comp M4 inspired.

  • PK

    Looks like an HK AK. I like the aesthetics.

    • Minuteman

      Obviously lots of MP5 inspiration indeed.

  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Good luck with an economy the size of Mexico.

    • micmac80

      If you noticed Russia is able to run all that & ,space program, 5th gen fighter,new gen tanks, etc.on that.

      • TheNotoriousIUD

        Pretty typical Soviet era spending habits. The same ones that destroyed their economy last time around.
        If they eat Ramen on Tuesdays they might be able to afford their very own aircraft carrier!

        • James Young

          I think a big part of Russia’s power comes from them not having to project it like the US does. They focus more on using bases and ground forces within relative closeness to their borders. They need Gen5 fighters to support land forces and allies which is cheaper than maintaining expensive Aircraft carriers (they have 1). Depending on their expenditures, a smaller economy isnt the worst thing. The US may bring in $3 trillion a year, but most of that is spent on social programs.

          • TheNotoriousIUD

            Id have to disagree there.
            The Russians are most definitely attempting to project power. Bear bomber patrols have been ramped back up as well as aggressive sub patrolling in western waters.
            The Independent lists 39 incidents involving Russian and NATO aircraft in 2014 alone.

          • James Young

            I said “like the US does.” Russia doesn’t patrol seas and keep free flow of goods though oceans, so they don’t need a big budget to build and maintain 12 aircraft carriers. Sure every country would want that, but they dont need it for their current strategy which is why I’m saying it doesnt matter of their economy is small comparatively. They want alliances with other countries so they can build their economy with those kinds of relationships. A big part of their economy is their arms sales afterall

          • micmac80

            ”patrol seas and keep free flow of goods though oceans, so they don’t
            need a big budget to build and maintain 12 aircraft carriers”
            You realy think that is why US has its carriers.That is just a fairy tale for small children.

          • crackedlenses

            Take away the US carriers and we’ll see about that.

          • andrey kireev

            US will do just as fine without them. USN is the biggest and strongest navy, and second strongest air force (After USAF) in the world.

          • crackedlenses

            Oh I don’t doubt we’ll be fine (for the time being at least). It’s those shipping lanes we probably protect that will less safe.

          • andrey kireev

            Well, While carriers are a huge deterrent, you have other ships that can fire weapons at far ranges without them as well =)

          • crackedlenses

            Cruise missiles aren’t quite attack aircraft unfortunately or you’d be about right.

          • andrey kireev

            A mere presence of carrier fleet in the region can deliver enough pressure on certain countries (like Iran) to prevent them doing anything stupid like closing off maritime traffic in the region.

          • Nicks87

            It’s all about Global Reach, baby! The ability to put men and machines anywhere in the world within hours.

          • Tritro29

            … Ok explain to me how a 45 billion US business is a big part of a 780 billion trade and service or a 1.7 Trillion GDP? For comparison. We’ve lost 45 billion USD of trade with Ukraine alone. For more interesting news consider Russian geographical position. We can connect with basically 5 continents without needing a ship. Actually we have less issues with trade than the US would ever have. Because on how effing big we actually are. But hey whaddaya know ’bout Russia.

          • Tritro29

            Project what? If you can understand that most projection forces that were already laughable during Socialist Times, were cut by as much as 5 when it comes to Nuclear subs. And from 7 aviation cruisers we’re down to 1. Which itself is a relic and more dangerous to the environment than a potential foe if we sail with it with a third of the complement as it was done in the late 90’s. The independent lists “incidents” that most of the time don’t even happen on NATO airspace, but close to it which is a huge difference. Given that some of our pilots in the early 2000 would fly less than 20 hours a year, it’s also normal that having them fly the minim qual of 10 a month would look as a ramp up. Yeah from 0 to 1 that’s a 100% growth. See Bellicose 100% rise. You guys are funny.

          • Stephen Paraski

            Well that Carrier just set sail.

          • Tritro29

            Yeh because it took 3 years to actually iron out the integration of the new Tactical missiles and the rest of the stuff it needed to be a credible threat.

          • Phillip Cooper

            Not very familiar with Soviet doctrine, are you?

          • FarmerB

            Soviets? Who are they?

          • andrey kireev

            they are the people who are notorious for losing cold war.

          • Tritro29

            Yes, that’s what she said…before taking a 757 in the face. Cold war never ended.

          • Uniform223

            It just changed faces

          • Tritro29

            Amen and that’s sad. We don’t need that in this time and day.

          • andrey kireev

            It did, an entire country ceased to exist, along with the cold war.

          • Tritro29

            An entire coutry? Well If you knew what you were talking about, we wouldn’t be having this discussion. The USSR albeit abused, never was a country. It was a political structure just like the European Union. How the Politburo and the Commies turned that into a Superstate, that’s another problem, but if you want to understand why you’re wrong, when you met someone on the street, you didn’t say hey you’re From the Soviet Union, nope you asked the guy if his Georgian mother was or how things were in Tajikistan. I thought you’d be some kind of migrant, but I see that the name is usurped. Cold war never died buddy, and thanks to the Chinese and their little Rodeo on Tien An Men you now have two, three different Cold Wars.

          • Joshua

            60% of the American economy goes into defense spending. You spend more on your military than literally everything else combined.
            so no, most of that three trillion dollars is not spent on social programs, it’s spent on your military

          • James Young

            US 2015 Federal Budget
            Revenue: $3.8 trillion
            Defense Spending: $598 billion

            16% is defense spending.

          • FarmerB

            It’s even worse, he said 60% of the US economy (I.e. GDP) is spent on military, which is about four times what is spent on health care and clearly wildly bogus.

          • Tritro29

            There’s about 38% of US economy that can be outlined as Strategic Investment versus 50% in average in the West. Unlike what people like to point out the Us doesn’t pay for the world to be free, nope it’s the world that make the US pay for its military by being prosperous junior partners. In Russia we’re close to 60%, which makes the burden for the military and civil defense more heavy and our consumption share of the economy lower. Bad in hard times, good in better times.

          • FarmerB

            No sure what you’re talking about, but “strategic investment” is not the defence budget. I didn’t come here to argue macro-economics, but just pointing out that his numbers were wildly wrong.

          • Tritro29

            I never spoke about defense spending, Nor did I say his numbers were correct. I said that the US can afford big spending on the military because its strategic investment was on the hands of other people. Never argued with you. Just pointed out that you don’t need to spend trillions to be economically fragile.

          • Rock or Something

            I wish we did spend that much on the military, but over half the budget goes to mandatory spending, which is mainly consisted of…duh duh duh, social programs like Social Security, medicare, etc. Taken as a whole, just the military specifically is a little over 16 percent. VA is counted separate. You probable got confused with discretionary spending, which in that case it would be military taking up around 57 percent. But again, not as a whole. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/6c13759d249d31e9f1a44a28294839c89a8e4a87a684b32c983fb6048193ed9b.png

          • Joshua

            I apologize, it would seem I was misinformed and then jumbled the numbers in my own head, the USA spends military budget is 40% of the worlds military spending, 6-7 times the military budget of the next highest spender (china) and once you include the USA and it’s ally’s spending 66-75% of global military spending.

            have you ever considered what might be accomplished if the US government invested that money into education? or science?

          • Rock or Something

            Personally, I rather the Federal Government do and spend what it is more within its Constitutional limits. General education is supposed to be at the local, state or private level, not send up to to DC to be shaken/dolled back out to local levels due to political favors. Science will happen regardless if the Federal Government is there taking a cut.

            In context, we are the biggest military spender but part of that is due to our obligations all over the world. Yeah it would be great if the Europeans actually got off their butts and made that EU force they keep fantasizing about. Or the Japanese government actually changed their pacifist mindset and changed the Constitution to build up their armed forces so that we aren’t obligated by treaty to defend them. Maybe than we wouldn’t have be there for them. But it is what it is, and seeing that its despotic regimes with questionable relations that are second, third and fourth on the military spending index, I understand why we are on top. Nature abhors a political vacuum.

        • Zachary marrs

          they already have an aircraft carrier, sorry, “heavy aviation missile cruiser”

          what you meant to say is that “they might be able to afford to fix the 50% of broken latrines on board.”

        • Tritro29

          At Under 65 billion per year that our defense spending is years away from the 25% GDP in defense in the early 80’s. Furthermore, we don’t have a public debt that puts our GDP to shame, nor do we like to print monkey money and pretend it’s all going fine. Also the USSR economy wasn’t destroyed, we didn’t shipped it to China. It was simple non-performing like most US budgets since 1971. But your infatuation with an economic midget speaks volumes about your insecurity issues. Tell me, where did the evil Commie touched you?

          • andrey kireev

            Yeah Okay, tell me more about your retirees not getting their pensions indexed despite raising food prices (over 30% up from year and half ago) and ridiculous levels of inflation , and non-diversified economy based on exporting oil, which your government keeps pumping money into oil industry (which failed like it has in 80s…”Insert definition of insanity here”). Having war in Syria, raising defense budget, while not paying workers at your prized new cosmodrome for months upon months. Defending universities and other higher education institutions, to the point they are no longer effective (But Americans are stupid ones, right ?) Regional governments collecting money for house repairs, while pocketing money, and not doing anything but painting over cracks. Russia doing so much better than the US… I might consider going back, along with hordes of other people who can’t wait to immigrate into Russia.

          • Tritro29

            You’re describing Ukraine here bud. Which is understandable, you’re Russia’s Best Korea. Food prices have gone up 30% this year? Are you nuts? Even in StPete the strongest spike has been 25% and pretty normal for those **** to get some of their import based medicine. Pensions not paid? You have not much clues do you? They’ve not been indexed which is a shame, but not paid that’s a straight lie. What next Economy based on oil? Partly and according to you folks it’s better to have an economy based on thin air and credit cards. Also the State is actually reducing the scope of the oil market because it needs money, that why you see it clamp down on Bashneft for instance. Also the oil industry failed? Actually they’re profitable even with revenues slashed per bbl. If you want failing oil industries look at the fracking sector made in US. They’re taking huge disguised subsidies to make it even. Rising defense budget? What is this 2014? The defense budget has been cut for the second year in nominal value and convertible value. War in Syria? Yeah let’s talk about that billion of Political and armament marketing. It has already resulted in about 7 billions of contracts for systems we showcased in Syria. What next? Universities are useless? Haha, that’s why the US has no more fundamental research and is poaching people outside? Tell me what the percentage of foreigners in US fundamental research labs. What the percentage of foreigners on dev labs? What’s the percentage of foreigners in industrial planning and design. Each post has over 50% on NON-US citizen. What was that? You were saying something about Russia? Last but not least, Vostochniy was outsourced and as with anything in Russia things get messy when you don’t have direct oversight. I get the Ukros thought it was going to be honey and milk one the West came to “rescue” you but actually they took advantage of your inferiority complex and there you are designing hand held grenade launchers made out of scrap metal while you can’t even cast and weld BTR components properly. How’s that Gas price from whoever you’re buying from now? Russia is still on a real economy, with real issues from real world. We don’t pretend that having a 20 trillion USD debt is not matter to hurry up true economic reforms. Because we don’t have that debt. Russia has plenty of issues, just not the ones you’re pointing out. Well you’re stuck in the late 90’s. Sorry son, can’t help you.

          • andrey kireev

            Read it again, never said they don’t pay pensions. But instead of indexing them, they just gave retirees 5000r to shut them up. And for food prices, I’m well aware of what they are right now. We aren’t talking about Ukraine here, not sure how you thought it was appropriate… You must be getting your information from state approved media sources clearly, because those seem to divert your attention from problems within and talk about garbage happening in Ukraine and how bad they have it… war in Syria, for the time being about Turkey, after they shut down that bomber. Also who cares about foreign Scientists ? Clearly they have a reason to leave those garbage countries that had nothing to offer, not only in terms of personal benefits, but research funding. I can clearly see why they do it, after all I immigrated from the land of no hope. There’s the reason more people seek education here in the US, rather than RF… but on positive side you do get all the foreign students from bunch of countries that end on “stan”, Also, 7 billions in contracts? I mean supporting war in Syria with all the military equipment, munitions and direct support must be nearly free right ? Clear Profit there ! Please define real economy too… because RF’s main export is oil, It’s practically a banana republic… But is Russia known for anything other than AKs, and maybe some Anti-air missiles used to shoot down passenger air liners ? Surely no one wants to buy those garbage cars you’re producing or eat food goods produced there… FFS Belarus produces higher quality food goods. Let me ask you this, since you know an accurate number for US debt (which is always resided on state media constantly) Why the hell Is Russian government investing it’s money into the US if everything seems so stark ? Now thing about RF, foreign companies wants to do business within your territories, and no company wants to invest in RF because of terrible business possibilities.

        • lapkonium

          so much for “firearms, not politics”

      • guest

        They claim to be. One of the longstanding traditions of the Soviet, er, Russian propaganda bureaus is that 95% of the s00per d00per advanced “Space Age” stuff they talk about in Pravda never existed except on paper. And that’s going back to when the USSR was taking 60% off the top of the economies of every Warsaw Pact member and adding it to their own economy, then spending almost half this, year in and year out, on the military, for generations.

        Thirty years ago they bankrupted themselves trying to build a blue-water navy that could challenge the US Navy in the North Sea while simultaneously trying to build twenty thousand T80 tanks for Group of Soviet Forces, Germany and the entire Western Strategic Direction (I believe they manufactured fewer than a thousand total–of a “super duper advanced” tank design from the Carter era) AND thousands of advanced MiG-29 and Su-27 air superiority fighters AND spend vast sums of money on space weapons to counter the US “Strategic Defense Initiative” AND prop up scores of Soviet puppet regimes against popular uprisings the world over, from Nicaragua to Syria to Angola to Afghanistan.

        But now Putin wants us to believe that Russia today, which has a smaller Gross Domestic Product than Italy, a nation where the average income is less than $1500 US/year, is building aircraft carriers and the s00per d00per advanced T12 “Armata” tank (which I am already predicting is just like the “T90” and “Black Eagle” tanks they claimed to have fifteen years ago, in the sense that none of them ever existed except on paper), and all this advanced kit for the illiterate malnourished conscripts from Khavkhaz? I don’t believe it. I flatly don’t believe it. They can’t even really afford their current Syrian adventure to prop up their Soviet-era puppet Assad regime and protect their stooge Assad from the second popular uprising against the regime in thirty years. They can’t even really afford their invasion of Ukraine–and Ukraine is the country they most need friendly relations and trade with, because it’s the place where ALL the USSR’s old factories for solid rocket motors, for things like air-to-air and antitank missiles, were and still are made. Can they even keep their ICBMs maintained without fresh solid rocket boosters from Ukraine?

        Russian propaganda has always had, if I may quote a Native American acquaintance of mine, “lots of thunder in the mouth, but not so much lightning in the hand.”

    • DataMatters

      Ours might get a lot smaller in the not too distant future as well.

    • Tritro29

      It’s more like Italy but ok, you probably confused the flags. American Education success.

      • Uniform223

        Though the U.S. education system can be better (primary, elementary, and high school), there is no denying that the higher lvls of education (colleges and universaties) are some of the best in the world. That’s why you have more foreign students come to the U.S. than any other place in the world.

        • Tritro29

          First, it was a joke, because Russia has the GDP of Italy not Mexico. As both countries share the same colors, I just reversed his joke.

          Second, you’re confusing being the biggest cash pool with better education. US standards of education, US methods and US evaluations in College are very lacking from that perspective. The main test and evaluation method is still MCT unless the trade is technically applicable. While in Europe for instance the questions are topical. The US attracts so many “foreign” students, because it has not enough Americans on its fundamental branches, just like Europe (even Russia has an influx of Eastern Europeans, Asians, Central Asians and Africans) the differences are that even Africans can afford tuition in Europe (in average 2300 USD for enrollment) While they can’t afford the levels of US education. Nothing is as easy as you might think.

  • Petto

    Those are the new “AK-12” aka AK-400 – not sure if they going for that when they recently bought those AK74M rail kits

  • kirill

    The picture in the title is an A545, the upgraded version of the AEK-971.

    • randomswede

      The one in the video (1:54) looks like an A545 as well. It doesn’t look like the most “futuristic” version we have seen of the rifle however.
      I wonder how many they are rolling out and if they are fielding any A762.

  • randomswede

    “Exoskeleton”, “advanced helmet” and “target designation”, add some pockets for artifacts and we can finally head into the zone.

    • Bob

      “Get out of here Stalker”

    • inchang

      ANUUUUUUUUU

      • guest

        CHEEKI BREEKI!

  • Ace Mcmac

    The XXL bottle opener on the back is a nice touch.

  • Lance

    Way I’ve read from past post. Elite troops like Spetz Naz get AK-12 as an option. Regular troops get current and updated AK-74s. Luke many said Russian news outlets said this before but officially and mil blogs find out that many times news is off and is preaching propaganda. So if AK-12s are being issued has yet to officially Sean.

  • Hoplopfheil

    I’m a big fan of Russia’s EMR Digital Flora camo.

    No idea how effective it is (versus Scorpion W2, or maybe Pencott?), but it has to be at least better than ACUPAT.

    • Uniform223

      That pattern just looks too green to me. Yeah UCP wasn’t the best but I’ve seen it work in an odd way in places like ft. Hunter ligget, ft bragg, the ME and in camp Pendleton. Had me scratching my head a few time trying to discern what I was looking at.

    • inchang

      EMR1 works really well in the jungle environment that I live in, however I do see shortcomings in grassland and less vegetated areas which I’m guessing is where their EMR2 pattern comes in. The Pencott family seems to blow everything out of the water except for the price you have to pay for a complete set

    • n0truscotsman

      They would be better off sticking with regular old OD. This is the problem with small pixelated patterns.

      IF you are desiring to go the disruptive pattern route, the pattern needs to be larger.

      • Tritro29

        Camo for a First tier armed forces is purely for ID purpose, most of the people Russia is going to fight against, will have FLIR assets per fireteam or platoon, basically negating any cause for concern regarding PID from purely visual camouflage. Israel has understood this since ages.

        • Uniform223

          One thing most if not all people do not give credit to the U.S. Army’s UCP is that it was relatively effective against NODs.

          • Tritro29

            Effectiveness against detection means like FLIR, IR, Thermals, MPR’s is a multi-faceted approach, no single uniform can help you, because many things, for instance treated uniforms, like the US or current Russian will not help you much if the rest of your gear isn’t matched (like coms, weapons, supplies. On a movement same deal, very difficult to hide from the assets most competent or semi-competent militaries have. All this works for places where the military effectiveness is closer to state police, rather than able to fight wars.

      • Uniform223

        Not just shapes but also different colors. That was the problem with UCP. The “sage green” and “light urban grey” look too much alike.

  • Sasquatch

    The exoskeleton I think would be the biggest advantage.

    • LCON

      To bad It’s only a model

  • rjackparis

    am i the only one that think it looks kinda unwieldy when he’s firing?

  • Darhar M.

    I want one of their “Swiss Army” knives.

  • Audie Bakerson

    Even if we get to import one we can’t feed it thanks to the NRA written LEOPA

    Thanks NRA!

  • Plus

    What’s the weapon on the Ratnik-3 concept?

    • LCON

      I think it’s just a mockup of a future Bull pup, like the rest of that get up. What I find interesting about it though is the under barrel attachment It looks almost like a M26 Modular Accessory Shotgun. If the Russians are looking to develop a under barrel shot gun they already have the MTs255 Shotgun revolver with a few mods I think it would do the job.

      • Hrachya H

        Plus and LCON, I am not sure if it is a real gun or not, but I tend to believe it is just a mockup, too. Otherwise, we’d have heard about it.

  • Rusty S.

    Voghjunum e TFB t’imi, hracha!

    • Hrachya H

      Thank you 🙂

  • un

    AK-400 (ak-12) Is not a AK74

    It’s a short stroke gun

  • hugo

    Lot of it is actually Revision video

  • Tritro29

    Actually it’s not yet issuing rifles. MinOboron has only paid for two platoons worth of each system for the press. The A545 will have to have it’s stock redesigned for universal use and there’s a couple of issues with the AK400.

    MinOboron has agreed to wait for MA program to be finalized prior to fielding any of the two rifles.

  • William Nelson

    We’ve been seeing “future warrior,” concept stuff for years now (my favorite was those poor Spanish (I think) guys decked out in some desert pattern stuff who looked to be toting a blue million pounds of gear on top of heavy optics on top of their HKs – don’t quote me here either); anyone have any idea of this crap actually coming to fruition / deployment yet for any nation?

  • Bob

    Russian Armed Forces were recently introduced to a new marvel of modern science….. SOCKS. Yes; socks. As in the ones you put on your feet. For decades, hell centuries. Russian troops were issued portyanki (footwraps).

    I don’t see it as anything wrong that the Russians are updating and modernizing their armed forces. Good for them.

    As an American, I find the rivalry between the US and Russia laughable at this point. We need to drop the crap and go about our business. The idea of the US being the world police needs to end.

    Our foreign policy should be simple.

    Stop meddling in other countries internal matters and do business across the world. The more we meddle with sovereign nations’ internal matters the more it bites us in the future.

    We should speak softly and carry a big stick.

    Tell the world that we’re open for business, do business, and be a heavily armed nation that decimates anyone that messes with us. No nation building, no exporting democracy, no messing with internal matters, etc…..

    We need to focus on our own issues within our own border. Russia wants to support Syria? Fine go right ahead. Bashar wages genocide amongst his people. Not our problem anymore. We can’t save the world.

    Spending our National Blood and Treasure for no return is a fool’s quest.

    The People’s Republic of China does it very well. They go to Africa and sign agreements for access to those resources and markets. The country in question is run by a dictator that rules with an iron fist? Oh well…. if the people of that nation don’t rise up and deal with it themselves. That’s their problem.

    • Max Glazer

      Those that served with Portyanki (my father did) actually find them a rather good thing since they A) serve as several thin socks, being a wrap, B) they can be re-wrapped from other end if foot sweat made it wet, keeping the foot dry, C) if socks can’t be supplied any flannel or cotton cloth will do the trick, D) they protect the foot better against the abrasion by the leather the boot is made from.

  • Pavel Ryabov

    At the top photo there is assault rifle A-545 (AEK-971 with 5,45×39 mm caliber)

  • randomswede

    I keep getting the feeling that the A545 is too good to be dismissed outright… but it’s not a Kalashnikov so it can’t be allowed to win… so the trials keep going until something Kalashnikov does win.
    But my bias as a neophile is well established at this point.

    • Tritro29

      Well it has “won” and changes to the rifle have been definitve, for instance you can see that the rifle has been modified for marching order, the cleaning rod is now on the side and not under the barrel. Some other tweaks as well, but yeah, the A545 will not win if the upcoming MA family delivers the same result. My only issue will be the price of the MA, nowhere near the current choice.

      • randomswede

        Ah, it’s the cleaning rod! I thought it was some kind of strengthening or method of attachment but didn’t want to ask, I figured I’d learn; sooner or later.
        I’m drawing a blank on “modified for marching order” can you elaborate?

        • Tritro29

          The rifles presented at Alabino are all supposed to be fielded in short notice and as such have all been modified to suit the MinOboron demands. For instance, the cleaning rod can be put under or over as it was objected that the only fashion storage was detrimental to the barrel “harmonics”. There are some other changes for the A545 which I’m not privy of and that regard structural strength. IMO probably thicker stamping sheet.

  • Frank Grimes

    So that’s how Tapco stays in business.

  • andrey kireev

    Oh I know what they are =) Sadly I’m a big fan of older style ships navy used to have… you know ones that had spare personnel on them, which let you sustain casualties without major degradation of capabilities. Not sure about Zumwalt, but LCS’ are very automated and technically undermanned… I just don’t see them being able to respond to damage control situations either =(

  • that other joe

    Can’t get over how much the rifle should be nicknamed “HK47.”

  • NukeItFromOrbit

    Wasn’t the “early” AK-12 also just an upgraded AK-74M? What improvements did it have that the “late” AK-12 lacks?

  • Budi Utomo

    Very interesting. The US should feel some pride for being inspiration for a lot of soldier “load bearing” systems like MOLLE and ALICE clips, tactical vests and so on. Please stop with the tired US vs Russia silliness. Putin already stated he accepted USA as a superpower- why the US and Russia are at loggerheads is due to CIA, Hillary and McCain’s NeoCon adventurism.