Ukroboronprom, the state-owned Ukrainian defence concern, has confirmed the first deliveries of its M4-WAC-47 rifle to Ukrainian troops for evaluation. The rifle, based on the M4, is chambered in 7.62x39mm, earlier information had referred to the weapon as the M16-WAC-47.
In an end of year statement one the company’s progress in developing and delivering a variety of defence contracts ranging from small arms to armoured vehicles, Ukroboronprom confirmed that:
the first batch of M4 – WAC-47 has already been handed over to the representatives of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, the National Guard and other law enforcement agencies for conducting comprehensive tests, which are a prerequisite for adoption.
The M4-WAC-47 will be manufactured in Ukraine but was co-developed with the US-based defence company Aeroscraft. The new rifle is a response to Ukraine’s geopolitical situation. With the ongoing civil war and the continued use of ComBloc weapons, including small arms chambered in 7.62x39mm, and the countries desire to further integrate with NATO. The M4-WAC-47’s response to the Ukrainian military’s need for weapons chambered in both 7.62x39mm and 5.56x45mm is to offer a rifle with the modulairty to chamber both rounds. This is accomplished by switching the rifle’s upper receiver, which Ukroboronprom claim, can be done in less than 20 seconds in the field.
Back in January 2017, when the project was first announced, it was stated that the WAC-47 would be available in a variety of barrel lengths including: 10.5″, 11.5″, 14.5″, 18″ and 24″. From the most recent available photographs the early examples of the rifle appear to be outfitted with an MLOK hand-guard and a Magpul MOE pistol grip and CTR carbine stock, whether these furniture choices will continue once in full production remains unclear. The rifle also uses what appears to be a proprietary magazine rather than a standard AK-pattern magazine. This limits the use of widely available AK magazines in the region and indicates the designer’s priority to ensure the lower also feeds from 5.56x45mm STANAG magazines. It’s planned that the M4-WAC-47, once adopted, will be issued to both Ukranian Ground Forces and the National Guard.