BREAKING: Russia will Adopt Both AK-12 and AEK-971 Assault Rifles

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.

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


  • That guy

    I doubt that

    especially since that ak-12 has replaced as ak-400

    • Same that guy

      beside they (aka some journalist) already saids smilar things way before (and nothing happended)

    • Mr Mxyzptlk

      The AK-400 is now called the AK-12 though, so Rogozinmay have been correct but just talking about the newer version rather than the older one pictured in the article.

  • Anonymoose

    wasn’t this already the plan?

    • Darren Hruska

      Going back a few months, I most certainly recall “confirmations” of Russia adopting BOTH the AK-12 and the A-545 (updated AEK-971). So yeah, this is really just a bunch of backpedaling.

  • Jambo

    But I thought the AEK-971 wasn’t really a thing and pic related was the new model?

  • What happened to the AK-107 balanced action rifle? From the video LAV did awhile back it seemed like a pretty mature design / blissfully controllable as an imperialist lawnmower?

    • Red McCloud

      The AEK is a balanced action rifle as well but the 107 is literally just an AK with the balanced action system and none of the special features of the AEK.

      • EdgyTrumpet

        W-what special features? Are you telling me there’s more to it than the balanced recoil?

        • Mario AK

          It’s got aperture rear sights!

          • EdgyTrumpet

            If that’s it, then I’m more than underwhelmed.

          • Red McCloud

            Other than the aperture sights, it’s a little bit lighter and has a faster full-auto fire-rate.

          • EdgyTrumpet

            C’mon, you got me all hyped up with the “special” features, I was hoping it would shoot lasers or something.

          • roguetechie

            There’s more to it than that, see my comment above.

          • Mario AK

            Hey, you asked for special features, and they’re not even pictured up above, it doesn’t get more exclusive…

          • roguetechie

            From what I’ve seen in Russian patents and the guts of AK-107’S versus the guts of the AEK guns, the AEK balanced recoil mechanism appears to be simpler but requiring higher precision to manufacture.

  • Audie Bakerson

    “it is still a big improvement over AK-74M, offering a […] ambidexterity, accessory rails etc.”

    It also weighs slightly but significantly less

  • EdgyTrumpet

    What a twist!

  • MNOR

    This comment section is going to be fun…

  • Peter Nissen

    Of course, IF you were to fight a battle in space – then reduced recoil is a absolute goal. Which the AEK-971 does in spades and who care’s what it weights when you’re in a weightless or near weightless environment. Not saying that anyone’s going to be storming the International Space Station soon – but perhaps it’s worth keeping an eye towards the future. Just saying!!!!!

    • randomswede

      I haven’t seen any weights listed for the A-545, but the AEK-971 is a little lighter than the AK-74M.

      • All the Raindrops

        Weight haz literally nothing to do with the comment you replied to.

        • randomswede

          Well I wasn’t about to pee on someone else’s tinfoilhat, but facts are facts.

    • SP mclaughlin

      Unless you are shooting a Gyrojet, any firearm will send you backwards in space.
      Space warfare will probably combine conventional firearms with newer Manned Maneuvering Units.

      • BrotherLazarus

        You’re forgetting inertia.

        Modern muzzle brakes deliver acceptable back-force while not dropping muzzle velocity too low. Couple that with low-weight, and the impulse generated would be easily countered provided your… flying infantry wasn’t just hosing ammunition anywhere. Really low specific impulse plus decent mass of infantryman plus gear plus the functions of inertia mean that a burst-fire design could easily be fielded without having to provide expensive counter-thrust.

        I’d say it’s not rocket science but… technically it is.

  • Boris

    adoption doesn’t mean wide spread, its just mean military will be allowed to put them in units on regular basis. There are 17 million AK-74 in reserves, somebody needs to use up those barrels first

    • Boris

      and one more thing, “politicians” in Russia, senators and such, don’t get to decide or approve what equipment get in to the military, they only approve the budget. This guys is in the executive branch of the government, but i doubt even he gets much say what goes equipment will be adopted. This type of things usually stay out of politics in Russia, unless there is some sort of corruption scandal. Its kinda funny to watch American politics in that way, when generals have to try to explain to senate why they need that new thingy.

      • Hrachya H

        Rogozin did say that and looks like he does makes decisions or at least conveys them to the public.
        You are right concerning what adoption means, nobody argues.
        Where did you get that number of 17 million from … just curious?
        And you don’t necessarily need to use the guns to get rid of them, you can sell them or keep to arm reserve forces if SHTF.

        • Boris

          its was mentioned couple of time in interviews, sorry would be able to remember where, but it was regarding adoption of new rifle, and having so many AK74 in reserve was one of the factor why there were no urgent need to get a new assault rifle, i’ve watch a few interviews of various officials, and they all seem to say if you carefully read between the lines that the new guns is not like to be adopted due to large amounts of AK74 in reserve. Not sure if you know but sale 5.45×39 is forbidden in Russia and i would get the rest of former soviet union countries, and it’s not as widely used else where, unlike 7.62×39 and 5.56, don’t think they would find many buyers for them.There were alot of talk about “upgrade kit” that can be installed by regular soldier for AK74 with telescopic stock and vertical grip if anything it might be it. personally i think AK74 is more than adequate and proven gun for regular russian military as it is now, and unless there is some major advances in technology that will make a concept of assault rifle obsolete they won’t adopt any thing untill all those 17 millions get used up 😉

          • Aleksey Chernov

            You have old info, 5,45 passed the certification and can legally used fot example in Saiga MK 030.

          • toms

            99% of 5.45 is steel core and forbidden to civilians anyway though.

        • roguetechie

          Very true especially since the Russians very rarely scrap out old military equipment instead pushing it into deep reserve status.

          They also seem to develop a multi tiered series of upgrade packages every few years for stuff in deep storage just in case they need them to fill out holes in their own formations or as with Syria and the recently gifted t-64’s

    • roguetechie

      Right, and they actually have an upgrade kit for the 74’s in storage and or already in use which has both good and bad sides.

      I personally wonder why they don’t / didn’t use the stock adapter from the Saiga mk107 which gives the saiga a more straight line recoil energy direction.

      I’ve also been reading in a couple Russian forums that the quad stack 60 round magazines are finally starting to be issued more widely, and are either on the verge of no longer being considered experimental and or flat out slowly being phased in slowly.

  • mig1nc

    I thought the A-545 replaced the AEK-971?

    • randomswede

      It’s a politician talking about guns.

      • mig1nc

        Good point 🙂

  • I hope this isn’t a beauty contest, because it’s hard to fight with a paper bag over your rifle.

    • guest

      In Russia unlike USA functionality always trumps looks.

      • pun&gun

        Both of them still look less ugly to me than the as-adopted M16 or M4 did.

        • Ariesman85

          I always had a fondness for the Russian AK-47 because of it’s serious reliability, even U.S. troops in desert storm used captured Iraqi AKs for reliability in the desert, as well as for psychological impact. I am not sure how the M4 compares but if Navy Seals are able to use them without fail, I imagine they don’t jam like the original M-16A1s.

          Even so, I have always been fascinated with the notion of improving the AK’s accuracy, even to have a customized AK that fired 5.56 NATO rounds. However, I stumbled upon an article about the AEK-971 and the Nikonov AN-94. At that time the Russian military was still testing these two weapons. However, I am still intrigued as to how good the AEK-971 is, granted I remember in the article that the AEK-971 was marginally more accurate than the Nikonov AN-94. I know our military shuns the notion of using anything foreign, but if we find ANY foreign military equipment superior to ours, we really should look into adopting it for our own troops, despite the re-training needed. That is just how I think!

          On another note, when do American-made AEK-971s hit the market for our people to enjoy?!

      • john huscio

        Nyet! M4 is fine!

      • Brian Mead

        Eeyup. Because the Russians actually fought a brutal war on their soil and realize just how serious good infantry weapons are. That and they don’t have enormous corporations trying to push guns that don’t need to be the best, but instead need to be the least crap. This is what happens when the people in charge of the military actually remember that the bleeding heart and soul of the military isn’t a helicopter, or a bomb guidance system, or a drone, or stealth paint, but is a very mortal man age 18-25 with a 6-8 pound piece of metal in his hands, some cloth on his back, and something hard over his torso in head with nothing more than courage and orders doing something his primeval ancestors before him likely did too. When you realize that, trillion dollar flops at fighter planes don’t happen — you instead spend money where it matters and you make smart choices, choices that are all about that young man with that chunk of metal instead of the old man in the business suit.

        • kyphe

          The Russian philosophy of use is that the best is the enemy of the good. This is why they still use the AK despite the AK losing many trials for new small arms over the years to other more advanced Russian designs. Essentially the rifle they had worked and the cost of replacing it and retraining was never worth it for the given level of improvement. Swap US business suits for often corrupt bureaucrats and you have Russian military procurement. we can leave the romanticism out of it.

    • BrandonAKsALot

      Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. That AEK gives me inappropriate feelings toward a firearm.

      • roguetechie

        What I want to know is what flavors and calibers of AEK they plan to adopt… I had read a few places a couple years ago that A545 / A762 were meant to serve alongside ADS with their Naval Infantry and some other specialist formations.

        • Blake

          Would be interesting to see if any of these rifles will be chambered in 6.5mm Grendel/pseudo-Russian-Grendel-thingie…

          • roguetechie

            The Serbian’s had Zastava make them a small batch of Switch barrel bulged trunnion AK’s which convert between Grendel and 7.62×39 in about 1 minute for testing of the Grendel round for potential military use.

            Both Zastava and the Russians now have pretty simple switch barrel systems (the Russians have it on their RPK16)

            Both systems are much simpler and would be easier to produce than the US palm system we saw years ago at SHOT which fizzled out.

            Hopefully we’ll actually see switch bbl AK’s or conversion kits here in the US soon.

        • BrandonAKsALot

          I’m sure predominantly 5.45 with some special builds for certain special forces etc in 7.62. This is pretty much the norm.

          • roguetechie

            I can see that, I’m a rabid 5.45 fan boy to some extent.

          • BrandonAKsALot

            You’re in good company

          • roguetechie

            Hopefully I’ll get to make a test batch of a cartridge design I’ve advocated as a good approach for a next generation 5.56×45 replacement that a friend of mine recently validated using solid works and ballistics calculators.

            It’s based on the American 5.45×39 aka 5.56×38 FABRL and would be compatible with AR15 magazine wells and bolt faces.

            The basics of this cartridge design come down to using an M855a1 style bullet construction using the FABRL AR-2 bullet shape and l/d ratio giving you a 55 grain VLD style bullet which then goes into a basically full caliber sabot. Using the right powder mix and essentially a 300 blackout case you are getting basically M16a1 muzzle velocities from a 10.5 inch barrel as well as a greater than 300 meter fragmentation threshold range.

            Longer barrels get you closer to 3500 fps and greater than 350 meter fragmentation threshold range.

            In theory you should be able to come up with a subsonic full caliber companion projectile design that will stabilize in the same barrels. Even if this were not the case though, I could pretty easily see this being the excuse needed to issue QCB capable rifles and a second integrally suppressed 10.5 inch bbl with nominal 14.5-16 inch overall length including the length it’s integral suppressor design extends past the muzzle.

            This would allow you to have a very potent night fighting option in your big bore suppressed secondary setup.

            Speaking for myself only, this is about the ideal fighting rifle combination, especially since your supersonic ammo would weigh a little less than M193 5.56 ammo while being substantially punchier in the all important 0-300 meter bracket while still giving you 500+ meter reach and enhanced performance over current solutions across the entire range.

            It would also do all of this without requiring 20 inch barrels which as a fellow 5.45 guy I know you’ll appreciate.

  • KDO

    old pictures, weird text… wtf?

    • Tim

      Teh Russians agin…..

  • Sunshine_Shooter
    • CA

      * Slow clap *

  • Ed

    Both where suppose to be adopted for the special forces. The AK-74 is to stay for general infantry use. Been news for years.

  • ColonelColt

    Too bad they dumbed down the AK-12 to the point where it’s just an AK-74 with rails added at the factory, essentially. They should just adopt the AEK series and be done with it or not at all.

    • CA

      I wonder if that’s a good point. AEK sure looks like something.

    • NukeItFromOrbit

      Wasn’t the original AK-12 just an AK-74 with rails and ambidextrous fire controls?

    • Tritro29

      … the system went from a long stroke piston to short one. From a Kalashnikov system, it became a Dragunov derivative. Among other things.

  • roguetechie

    This is what has me confused, the rifle you posted has been built in 545 and 762 versions and uses the AEK operating system, but their respective designations / model numbers are A545 & A762.

  • Blake

    It’s like the bastard child of an AK & an MP5…

  • NukeItFromOrbit

    Wasn’t the original AK-12 just an upgraded AK-74 too?

  • Brian Mead

    Now that’s how you do small arms choices — you actually realize that in the end, people and lives will depend on putting out a quality product. So you pick carefully and make sure they’re the best they can be before really getting going with them. A corporation doesn’t invite a general and some congressmen to a barbecue, wow them with a demo, and suddenly have the new service rifle which, 52 years later, still has numerous unfixed fundamental design flaws. Why can Russia get small arms right but we can’t?

    • Reality

      Except that this is one of theyr largest waist of money ever on smallarms haha… This Ak12 is just named that way its not the actual Ak12… , its got downgraded to basicly an ak74 with rails…

      Now they might be stuck with it for one or two decades. GREAT for us! We in just a few years will have CT Rifles and LMG’s. With higher range, lighter rounds, less recoil, more capacity, less heat flux, shorter more ergonomic weapons, etc.
      The US other than some people think, did everything right, they waited until something is available which is an ACTUAL diffrence, instead of just another technical full outdated metal bottleneck platform, which has basicly NO performance diffrence.

      • Reality

        And btw “lives will depend on putting out a quality product” they still run around in Syria with Iron Sight AK74….

        • Max Glazer

          Except that iron sight is perfectly good enough to kill anyone they need to kill at battle ranges. Also AK has that pesky little side rail that accepts either sights made specifically for it or adapter to picattini so western sights. Soldier wants an optic? Welcome to install one.

          Unless you can actually use the iron sights you’ll never truly appreciate the optic.

          You “will” get those rifles? Sure about that? It took how many years to move from M-16A1 to M-16A2?

          Lighter rounds? Unless you lot are planning to change NATO standards and change huge amounts of things, you’ll have to come up with different materials to make rounds out of if you want them lighter.

          Keep dreaming buddy.

  • Brian Mead

    I just wanted to say thing. This kind of prudence in armaments choice is because the Russians actually fought a brutal war on their soil and realize just how serious good infantry weapons are. That and they don’t have enormous corporations trying to push guns that don’t need to be the best, but instead need to be the least crap. This is what happens when the people in charge of the military actually remember that the bleeding heart and soul of the military isn’t a helicopter, or a bomb guidance system, or a drone, or stealth paint, but is a very mortal man age 18-25 with a 6-8 pound piece of metal in his hands, some cloth on his back, and something hard over his torso in head with nothing more than courage and orders doing something his primeval ancestors before him likely did too. When you realize that, trillion dollar flops at fighter planes don’t happen — you instead spend money where it matters and you make smart choices, choices that are all about that young man with that chunk of metal instead of the old man in the business suit.

  • The victorious Deplorable Nick

    How bout an export AEK? 🙂