On display at the recent Russian Army 2017 expo was Kalashnikov’s new AM-17 and AMB-17 compact assault rifles. The AM-17 is a 5.45x39mm caliber improved version of the MA assault rifle introduced last year, designed to fill the same role as the AKS-74U compact assault rifle/personal defense weapon. The AMB-17 is an integrally suppressed variant of the same, firing the 9x39mm dedicated subsonic round first introduced with the AS Val and VSS Vintorez in the 1980s. Pictures of the new rifles have been posted on various social media outlets, such as TFB contributor and small arms expert Max Popenker’s blog.
AMB-17 (top) and AM-17 (bottom) assault rifles. Image credit: Maxim Popenker, used with permission
The introduction of the AMB-17 in the 9x39mm caliber seems to imply that it will complement or replace the Kalashnikov AK-9 in the company’s lineup, in direct competition against Tula’s more successful AS Val, VSS Vintorez, and SR-3 rifles in the same caliber. Likewise, the AM-17 is likely intended by Kalashnikov to replace the Tula-made AKS-74U in Russian service.
The degree of interest on the part of the Russian government in the new AM-17 and AMB-17 rifles is yet unknown, but the weapons do seem to be strong contenders for modernization of the roles currently filled by the AKS-74U and VSS/AS platforms. A lightweight rifle with modern controls and accessory mounting provisions, that is common between both the compact assault rifle and silenced assault rifle roles sounds like an attractive upgrade.