Finland Gives Up New Rifle Program, Will Modernize Rk. 62 to Serve Until 2035

    The Finnish Commander of the Army has announced that the Nordic country will not be purchasing 5.56mm replacements for their existing 7.62x39mm caliber Rk. 62 rifles, but instead will seek to upgrade the venerable Kalashnikov-based Valmet. reports (machine translation below):

    Finland gives up the purchase of a new automatic rifle cal. 5.56 mm. Old RK 62 for the cartridge 7.62 mm x 39 will be upgraded and will be used until 2035.

    The prototype of the modernized 7.62-mm automatic rifle RK 62M presented at the beginning of August.  Until this standard is to be adapted most of the models used by the Finnish army / Photo: MO Finland

    The prototype of the modernized 7.62-mm automatic rifle RK 62M presented at the beginning of August. Until this standard is to be adapted most of the models used by the Finnish army / Photo: MO Finland

    Commander of the Finnish Army, Lieutenant General Seppo Toivonen said that Finland plans to resign from purchasing until the end of the decade a new, individual arms. Until now, the search for a successor was assumed previously used design, powered cartridge 7.62 mm x 39, through new models of firing ammunition 5.56 mm x 45 NATO standard in countries belonging to NATO and the widespread of the world ( Finnish ARX 160? , 2014 -11-29). Such rifles, in a small number will get only special forces soldiers for which you purchased the Belgian FN SCAR-L ( Weapons for Finnish commandos , 2014-03-13).

    The army decided that our old rifle, it is still an effective weapon that meets the requirements of the battlefield, so it will be used for a long time in the future , said gen. Toivonen. Thus confirmed previous reports that the Ministry of Defense in April that is widely used in Finnish armed forces RK 62 automatic rifles remain in service even until 2035.

    The army will have to cope with financial constraints and their implications for defense. Over the next few years we will have analyzed how many of the older kinds of weapons will be able to continue to be used and then selected to be the priorities of modernization , said the commander of land forces.

    Nevertheless, introduced in 1965. RK 62 automatic rifle with milled castle chamber (and its variants: RK 62 TP with a folding stock; RK 62 VV with a lateral assembly to night vision devices, RK 62 TP VV assembly and folding stock), developed on the basis of the Soviet AK (some sources state that as a reference constructions were used models of contemporary Polish PMK, produced under license in Radom), will be slightly modified. Changes may also include RK 62-76 / TP with the pumped chamber of the castle, produced in 1977-1982.

    By the end of the year created 200 prototypes of modernized rifles, which are to receive the name of the RK 62M. Weapons testing, made by the first soldiers from the new collection, to be launched in 2016.

    The weapons are equipped with a stock of adjustable length, and also obtain a new, more convenient sling in place of previously used simple strip of leather. In addition, RK 62M will be provided with a supplementary universal mounting rail STANAG 4694 standard (compatible with older STANAG 2324, the US MIL-STD-1913, popularly referred to as Picatinny ) located above the chamber castle.Before bed, on the basis of midges or directly on the barrel, it is to be located optional aluminum mounting with three short pieces of rail, located throughout the sides and bottom. The top rail is used for mounting the optical and optoelectronic sights and thermal imaging equipment and nokto-, side – for mounting flashlights, laser indicators and backlights purpose.

    Finnish special forces recently adopted the FN SCAR-L, and it was expected that the Finnish Army would follow suit. The Rk. 62 was adopted by the Finnish Army in 1962 and production began in 1965, replacing both the SVT-40 semi-automatic and aging Mosin-Nagant bolt-action rifles. Production ceased in 1998.

    TFBTV included the Rk. 76, a stamped-receiver variant of the Rk. 62, in its list of five great overlooked rifles. As long as the rifles themselves remain serviceable, it’s likely that the Rk. 62 will only be usurped if another technological shift occurs, as the design is extremely sound.

    H/T Broń i Amunicja

    Nathaniel F

    Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. He can be reached via email at [email protected]