The National Guard of Ukraine’s press office announced that the National Guard Special Forces have received their first 5.56x45mm AR-15-patterned rifles. The move comes as some Ukrainian National Guard units have begun to rearm in line with NATO standards as part of closer alignment with the western alliance.
The press office does not name the unit, only saying: “a separate special unit of the Eastern Territorial Administration has received new UAR-15 assault rifles.” In recent months Ukraine also received a shipment of US military aid worth $60 million. Since the outbreak of the conflict in Donbass and the annexation of Crimea, Ukraine have undergone a massive rearmament program and kickstarted their defense industry with a number attempts at developing their small arms manufacturing capability which has seen the development of the FORT-250 rifle and the M4-WAC-47.
The rifles are clearly marked ‘UKROP’ a branch of Ukraine’s State Concern “Ukroboronprom”. Incidentally, the UKROP rifles should not be confused with the Ukrainian right-wing nationalist political party of the same name.
The UKROP UAR-15 has been exhibited at a number of defense trade shows since 2018 and it seems that production of the rifle is now underway. The rifle appears to be patterned after the AR-15/M4, with a KeyMod forend, an enlarged T-charging handle, an adjustable stock and a full-length top rail. The rifles also appear to be select fire. They are also shown with Lancer translucent polymer magazines and a suppressor with flash hider, which is reportedly rated for up to 10,000 rounds.
Volodymyr, an operator with the Ukrainian National Guard Special Forces, shared his opinion of the new rifle (machine translated):
I achieve the same results as with UAR-15 with much more effort and thanks to the additional tactical equipment that Kalashnikov rifles are equipped with. And this is extra weight, as well as intervention in the design. Of course, working with a rifle, where all these nuances are provided, is much more pleasant and effective. You take it in your hands and feel that it is made with respect for a professional shooter who clearly understands what he needs to perform a task.
UAR-15 should replace the well-known Kalashnikov assault rifle. It is more ergonomic. It has a modular layout, the upper part of the receiver and the stream have Picatinny guides for mounting sights and other accessories. It is worth noting that we received not only the rifle itself, it is included. It includes a very good Swedish collimator, a moisture-proof case, a bag for carrying a rifle, equipment for carrying shops, spare parts, spare keys and tools that need to be changed during operation are supplied from the factory. It also includes a very comfortable belt. It is easily connected, disconnected, transformed from two-point to one-point. That is, there are much more opportunities for maneuver and the most effective work in fleeting tactical conditions. The UAR-15 rifle has better accuracy than the Kalashnikov rifle. Barrel and trigger mechanism.
The National Guard of Ukraine’s press office also released this video about the new rifle: