Kalashnikov (Автомат Калашникова) has introduced (Feb. ’12) the latest in the long running line of military rifles the AK-12. The new version is similar in look to the well-known AK-47, but it is a totally redesigned weapon. It is expected to come in various incarnations including a carbine (AK-12U), submachine gun (PPK-12), sniper rifle (SVK-12), and light machine gun (RPK-12). Models for the civilian market are also being planned. An experimental self lubricating nano-composite coating is also being tested on the AK-12 rifle. Interchangeable barrel lengths and calibers are also being planned.
Kalashnikov claims the new AK-12 has better range, increased fire dispersion, better ergonomics and usability. “The new weapon is as reliable as the AK-74”, the Izmash factory CEO Maksim Kuzyuk says, “but the dynamic characteristics differ significantly. It considerably increases the accuracy of shooting. The rifle is capable of firing in three modes: single shot, three shots and automatic fire mode.” The AK-12 is also capable of using magazines of various types and capacity.
One of the primary new features of this gun is its modularity. The AK-12’s composition will allow it to be operated single-handed, and it can be converted for left or right handed use. The rifle can accommodate night vision and Holo-sights, a target indicator, or a light grenade launcher.
The AK-12 was presented to the public for the first time this month at the defense exhibition in Moscow, Engineer Technologies 2012. Currently in extreme-environments testing phase, new the AK-12 should be available to the public sometime in 2013 or 2014.