Russian National Guard Adopt RPK-16

    Kalashnikov Concern have confirmed that their new light machine gun the RPK-16 has been adopted by Russia’s National Guard, the Rosgvardia. Back in September, the National Guard of Russia announced their purchase of a small number of the new AK-200 series of rifles from Kalashnikov Concern.

    The Russian Army has been testing the RPK-16 earlier this year having announced its adoption in February. The new RPK-16 can be configured with a longer barrel for use as a light machine gun while also being able to have a shorter CQB barrel. The RPK-16 can feed from both 5.45x39mm rifle magazines and a 95-round drum magazine.


    RPK-16 with regular and CQB barrels (Kalashnikov Concern)

    Here’s Kalashnikov Concern’s announcement (machine translated) from 24 May:

    Rosgvardiya following a test of approbation will adopt a light machine gun RPK-16. This was reported by TASS agency with reference to the head of the department of equipment and weapons of the Rosguards Alexei Bezzubikov.

    Lightweight Kalashnikov light machine gun caliber 5.45 mm created on the basis of the experience of modern armed conflicts. It can be used as a light machine gun, and as an assault rifle.

    RPK-16 equipped with a four-position telescopic butt, which is folded to the left. Picatinny rail on the cover of the receiver is rigidly mounted in two places providing a stable average point of impact during removal and installation. Handguard with Picatinny slats at the top and bottom with the ability to install removable slats left and right. Replaceable block trunks, which allows you to set the barrel length to 560 mm. The machine gun is completed with various shops. Especially for
    RPK-16 The Store of the increased capacity of the drum type for 95 cartridges was developed. To the machine gun also suitable stores of the previous types, including two-row with identification windows.

    The Rosgvardia at the moment is equipped with the RPK-74, however, there is no word yet on how many new RPK-16s will be purchased by either the Rosgvardia or the regular Russian Army.


    Matthew Moss

    Matthew Moss – Assistant Editor.

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written for a variety of publications in both the US and UK he also runs, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of, a new video series on historically significant small arms.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]