Kalashnikov Delivers 35,000 AK-12s to Russian Army

    First 8,000 AK-12 Rifles Are Issued To Central Military District of Russian Armed Forces (2)

    The AK-12 rifles shown at the Moscow Victory Day Parade were equipped with under-barrel grenade launchers (most likely GP-34) and red dot sights (definitely Valday sights, probably the 1P87 Valday PK-120).

    Russian state news service TASS has reported that 35,000 new 5.45x39mm AK-12s have been delivered to the Russian army. With deliveries continuing apace this indicates that Kalashnikov Group are on track to meet their target of delivering over 110,000 rifles by 2021.

    Kalashnikov Group CEO Dmitry Tarasov told TASS that “We have already closed the contract for this year, i.e. we have made all the deliveries for 2020,” he said, adding that the number of rifles amounted to  “about 35,000.”

    The Kalashnikov CEO announced in April this year that the Izhevsk based company had successfully completed their deliveries for 2020 well ahead of schedule. Back in April 2019, the company confirmed that they planned to deliver 112,500 of the new AK-12 assault rifles to the Russian Federation’s armed forces between 2019 and 2021. The Russian Defense Ministry announced on June 1 that the Airborne Force received about 10,000 AK-12 assault rifles during 2019 and in the first half of 2020.

    AK-12 Special Forces

    Russian special forces of the Western military district with AK-12 (Russian Ministry of Defense)

    Kalashnikov unveiled the AK-12 back in 2014, the Russian armed forces adopted the AK-12 four years later and we first saw the new rifles in the hands of Russian troops at the 2019 May Day Parade, with around 400 troops from the Ryazan Guards Higher Airborne Command School, 131th Airborne Regiment and Second Mechanized Infantry Division seen marching with the new rifles through Red Square.

    In July 2019, the Ministry of Defence of the Russian Federation has announced that the first batch of 8,000 AK-12 rifles had been issued to units of the Central Military District of Russian Armed Forces. Most recently operators from Russia’s 24th ObrSpN (or 24th Spetsnaz Brigade) appeared in a video from a recent training exercise equipped with the new AK-12 rifles. The special forces of the Western Military District have also been photographed with the new weapons.
    Armenia to Start Licensed Manufacturing of AK-12 and AK-15 Rifles (12)

    AK-12 (Kalashnikov Group)

    The AK-12 has a number of small and significant improvements over the 7.62x39mm AKM and 5.45x39mm AK-74Ms which are still in service. The new rifle has improved ergonomics with a new adjustable stock, pistol grip and rail mounting points for accessories. The AK-12 feeds from new polymer magazines and has an adjustable gas system. It also has a new two-round burst capability, alongside full and semi-auto. The top cover has been improved re-profiled to include an integral top rail and is now more rigidly secured to minimise wandering zero. A new quick detach muzzle device has also been developed to allow the easy mounting of suppressors. Another ergonomic improvement is the addition of a thumb shelf near its centre for more easy manipulation. For a full rundown of the AK-12’s features check out Hrachya’s article here.

    Matthew Moss


    TheFirearmBlog.com – Managing Editor
    OvertDefense.com – Managing Editor

    Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. He also runs Historical Firearms, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of The Armourer’s Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms.

    Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news.

    Reach Matt at: [email protected]