Yugoimport is a Serbian state-owned company that showcases at IDEX, under a single umbrella, a variety of defense-related products from the country. The firearms at the booth are manufactured by the well-known Zastava Arms company, although the models showcased usually aren’t the ones exported for the civilian market.
In this edition of the event, a couple of advanced prototypes of concepts with a few years of development were the main attraction.
Zastava Arms – Modular Combat System (MCS) M19We first read about this concept in 2017 and a couple of years later we got more info. The project appears to still be in development and last year the company dedicated to it a page of their website. While the sources mentioned above were hinting at a cartridge based on the 6.5 Grendel, the prototype barrels at IDEX were apparently referring to the Grendel directly.
The name M19 may not be final, as it was not written anywhere but on a leaflet handed out by a representative. The assault rifle is still being tested by the Serbian Army.
Another detail that is not yet final is the position of the charging handle. The newest versions have it, possibly on both sides, on the handguard above the barrel (HK G3-style). So it seems that, while the AK-style charging handle is entirely abandoned, the AR one did not win the heart of the Serbian troops.
It is interesting to note that this is not the only attempt to modernizing the AK platform with the possibility to quickly change caliber and barrels, as we’ve recently seen a similar project from Ukraine.