As you know, Russia hasn’t yet made a final decision which one of the new AK-12 and AEK-971 assault rifles to adopt. Both firearms are being extensively tested and issued in small quantities and both seem to be adequate to be adopted.
Recently, Russian deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin giving an interview to Russian news agency “Interfax“, told about the possibility of adopting both rifles. According to Rogozin, they are not looking to find a winner and there won’t be a winner/loser in these trials as such. They will be considering to adopt both designs for different roles in the armed forces. He also said that the trials last so many years to refine the designs and make sure the newly adopted rifles will serve decades on.
The politician noted that AK-12 is a more affordable and simple rifle and will be suitable to arm large numbers of ordinary infantry forces. Although being relatively cheap, it is still a big improvement over AK-74M, offering a lot of features of a modern assault rifle (ambidexterity, accessory rails etc.).
AEK-971 is a bit more complicated design, but it has a number of advantages over AK-12. It is more accurate, controllable and modular. This rifle will be issued to border patrol regiments, SSO a.k.a Spetsnaz (special forces) and national guard. Comparing the two rifles with travel classes, Rogozin said that AK-12 is like an “economy class” rifle and AEK-971 is more like a “business class” one.
Both rifles will be tested more and probably will be finally adopted later this year.