14:10 GMT27 January 2021
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    Russia's Army-2016 Military Expo (47)

    The world-famous Russian Kalashnikov Concern stole the show at the Army-2016 forum in the Moscow Region unveiling a new string of its deadly weapons including the RPK-16 machine gun, the AK12 and the AK15 assault rifles. A Sputnik reporter visited the Alabino shooting range to see the demonstration of the arms' capabilities with his own eyes.

    The RPK-16 is a 5.45mm brand new light machine gun which is expected to take over the role of its predecessor, the RPK-74, in the Russian Armed Forces thanks to its groundbreaking features.

    A visitor examines the RPK-16 machine of the Kalashnikov concern at the Army 2016 International military and technical forum.
    © Sputnik / Evgeny Biyatov
    A visitor examines the RPK-16 machine of the Kalashnikov concern at the Army 2016 International military and technical forum.

    What striking first and foremost is that this machine gun is equipped with a sniper sight and a barrel silencer and is capable of firing single shots, which is absolutely surprising for the type of a weapon known for strong recoil and meant for firing long bursts.   

    This is exactly what makes the RPK-16 different from analogues. A fine combination of ergonomic decisions such as the changeable length of the club and a pistol-like grip considerably minimize recoil whereas a Picatinny rail is used to mount extra devices such as a scope sight, a collimating sight, a heat imaging sight, or a tac-lite system.    

    During the dynamic demonstration, a shooter armed with an RPK-16 equally easily eliminated targets with both long bursts and single shots, using the record-light 4kg-machinegun as a sniper rifle in the latter case. The engineers created a truly cross-functional weapon, Andrei Kirisenko, an adviser to the Kalashnikov CEO explained to Sputnik while bullets were hitting targets a dozen meters away.

    "The RPK-16 machine gun was designed primarily for Spetsnaz, paratroopers and other rapid reaction forces who need a universal, compact and light weapon for accomplishing different tasks."

    The bipod-based machine gun has two types of magazines: a 30-round curved magazine and a new 96-round drum. Its construction enables a long barrel (when the RPK-16 is applied as a machinegun) and a short barrel (in the event it is used as an assault weapon). It has a rate of fire of 700 rounds per minute and an accuracy range of 800 meters. It can fire any rounds compatible with an AK-74 or RPK-74.

    AK12 or AK15: Enhanced Ergonomics and Density of Hits for Russian Army

    Apart from the machine gun, the Kalashnikov Concern presented two assault rifles, the 5.45mm AK12 and the 7.62mm AK15, which are contesting the right to replace the tried-and-true 5.45mm AK-74M in the Russian Army. They both have a rate of fire of 700 rounds per minute, which is 50 rounds faster than that of the AK-74M. The accuracy range of two new assault rifles is measured at 800 meters.

    • AK-15 and AK-12
      AK-15 and AK-12
      © Sputnik / Vasily Raksha
    • AK-12
      © Sputnik / Vasily Raksha
    • AK-15
      © Sputnik / AK-12
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    © Sputnik / Vasily Raksha
    AK-15 and AK-12

    Basically, the only difference between the two is their caliber — the AK15 seems to be a backup should the Russian Army switch back to the 7.62mm caliber.

    In contrast with older AK assault rifles, the AK12 and AK15 brandish a Picatinny rail for various devices, a telescopic-type buttstock, and a pistol-type grip; several changes were made to the magazine-opening cover, foregrip, and gas tube. These modifications noticeably ratcheted up the weapons' grouping of shots and ergonomics.

    The Army-2016 international military-technical exposition is taking place in the Moscow Region on September 6-11.

    Russia's Army-2016 Military Expo (47)


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    machinegun, assault rifle, weapons, AK15, AK12, RPK-16, Army-2016, Kalashnikov Concern, Andrei Kirisenko, Russia, Moscow Region
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