Putin praises new Kalashnikov assault rifle
State tests of a new model of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, or AK, will be held in Russia next year, media reports said on Wednesday. Meanwhile, Russian security forces have already signaled their readiness to purchase the sophisticated AK-200, which, experts said, will be based on the AK-74 version.
On Tuesday, the AK-200’s advanced characteristics were appreciated by Prime Minister Vladimir Putin, who visited the Izmash mechanical plant in the Russian Urals city of Izhevsk, where the legendary Kalashnikovs are currently assembled. Alexander Baditsa, an Izhmash spokesman, explains:
"The AK-200 is designed to contribute to a full-blown modernization of the Russian Armed Forces. Significantly, the new model is based on the AK-74, internationally known for its reliability and ease of use , the AK-200’s sophisticated design is fully in tune with new demands for waging modern warfare. The new Kalashnikov differs in weight and the magazine capacity, citing a 60-cartridge magazine the AK-200 is equipped with. It is safe to assume that the new Kalashnikov‘s characteristics are on a par with those of assault rifles currently used by NATO troops."
The world’s most widely used assault rifle, the Kalashnikov remains the weapon of choice for more than 20 countries, experts say. It is even featured on the coat-of-arms of four countries, they add, citing at least 70 million Kalashnikov assault rifles produced across the globe in the past. Created by noted Soviet inventor Mikhail Kalashnikov in 1947, the AK assault rifle has since turned into what specialists called the best example of reliable and fool-proof kind of small arms in the world.