17:37 GMT +327 March 2017
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    Some AK-47 Kalachnikov assault rifles are stored among some 8,000 weapons at the Criminal Research Institute of the National Gendarmerie (IRCGN), on May 19, 2015 in Pontoise, outside Paris

    Sanctions? The US Military’s Insatiable Hunger for Russian AK-47s

    © AFP 2017/ MARTIN BUREAU
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    The Russian-made Kalashnikov assault rifle is still one of the most popular machine guns in the world due to its outstanding characteristics. The Americans continue to buy the weapon through third parties, regardless of anti-Russian sanctions, military expert Igor Korotchenko told Radio Sputnik.

    Regardless of sanctions, the United States continues to purchase the famous Kalashnikov assault rifles (AK-47) through third parties.

    "Virtually all countries buy [the Kalashnikov assault rifles], even the Americans; they acquire these weapons indirectly… for the armed forces in Afghanistan," Rostec state corporation CEO Sergey Chemezov noted in his Tuesday interview with Rossiya-24.

    According to the Rostec CEO, former Warsaw Pact countries also jump at the opportunity to sell these popular assault rifles to the US military.

    Speaking to Radio Sputnik, Igor Korotchenko, a Russian military expert and editor of "National Defense" magazine, the Americans appreciate the Kalashnikov machine gun and understand how its quality differs from numerous foreign copies.

    "The US continues to bolster the Afghanistan security understanding that they simply have no alternative but to use the original Kalashnikov assault rifles in this country," Korotchenko pointed out.

    The Russian expert called attention to the fact that the Kalashnikov machine gun is being "cloned" by many manufacturers.

    "The Kalashnikov is 'cloned' by many countries. Moreover, these are illegal, pirate actions. In particular, Bulgaria produces pirate copies of the Kalashnikov assault rifle; they are also manufactured in China and several other states. But [the machine gun's] 'clones' and replicas very much concedes to the original samples of Russian automatic weapons in terms of quality," Korotchenko underscored.

    "Therefore US Special Ops always prefer to use original [Russian-made] Kalashnikov machine guns while carrying out combat operations in Afghanistan," he highlighted.

    In his interview with Radio Sputnik Korotchenko emphasized that US manufacturers also produce excellent assault weapons. However, the crux of the matter is that American machine guns cannot resist the pressure of severe Afghani climatic conditions.

    "The American M16 rifle cannot stand Afghanistan's tough conditions, including dust, dirt and temperature fluctuations," he said.

    Therefore, it is no secret that the US has long been equipping the Afghani armed force with Kalashnikov rifles, he noted. Indeed, the machine gun is well known for its ease of maintenance in all operating conditions.

    "However, in the absence of direct contacts — given the fact that the Russian enterprise has come under sanctions — [the Americans] purchase them through third parties for further re-export to Afghanistan," Korotchenko explained.

    Meanwhile, Kalashnikov Concern continues to bolster its production and develop new weapons systems.

    The Concern's official site cites Kalashnikov CEO Aleksey Krivoruchko, who has recently revealed that the company is seeking to boost production of the new AK-100 family of Kalashnikov firearms and unveiled a plan to build a 20-ton reconnaissance and attack system.

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    Tags:
    machine gun, assault rifle, M16 Assault Rifle, AK-47, Kalashnikov Concern, Sergei Chemezov, Afghanistan, China, United States, Russia, Bulgaria
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    • avatar
      Igor
      Proves The Obama$$'s US "Excellence" banter wrong again. The only thing he ever did correctly was to get out of office, and that was not of his doing either.
    • The Night Wind
      The American M-16 is junk, most older veterans I know say the rifles that were used in WW2 and Korea were better. This is also true of American private gun owners: surplus AK-47s sell much better than surplus M-16s.
    • avatar
      seanrkearney
      AK47 best assault rifle out there in my opinion. Shame we need weapons at all, that said.
    • avatar
      TGG3
      You see, Americans comment on their M16 variants based on - well kept, rifles that are shot once or twice on the weekends.

      People who actually are in war zones, prefer the AK47, because it is more reliable and the bullets penetrate is stronger!

      Please stop arguing what's already PROVEN.
    • avatar
      TGG3
      100+ million AK-47's made.
      8+ million M16's made.

      The numbers tell me the AK-47 is a superior weapon in real combat situations.
    • DarKnytt
      The Legendary AK47 is not matched by any assault rifle ever to be made in this planet... Only those who have never been in a real battle will differ to the statement above...
    • DarKnyttin reply toDarKnytt(Show commentHide comment)
      DarKnytt, True that...
    • Ingimundar
      The "MAN'S GUN".
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