New military small arms from “Kalashnikov” concern that were showcased during Army-2016 expo

Key items of the large and impressive display at the “Kalashnikov” booth were several military smalla rms that were displayed to the public for the first time. Most of these products are still in various stages of development, but, nonetheless, they attracted a lot of interest from guests that included military experts, high ranking officers and defense officials from Russian and abroad.

RPK-16 light machine guns
Foreign military experst looking over the new RPK-16 light machine guns

5.45mm RPK-16 light machine gun / squad automatic weapon is proposed as a replacement for the obsolescent RPK-74 light machine gun. RPK-16 is built using traditional highly reliable Kalashnikov action, modified to accept changeable barrels of different lenghts, and with modern ergonomic upgrades including adjustable, side-folding stock and integrated Picatinny rails. For special operations it can be equipped with removable sound suppressor, and a high capacity, 96-round drum magazine is being developed for this gun. Produced upon Concern’s own initiative this weapon is still in development.

MA compact assault rifle
The new MA compact assault rifle proved to be of great interest to most visitors
MA compact assault rifle
5.45mm MA compact assault rifle is a brand new and very promising weapon from "Kalashnikov" concern

5.45mm MA compact assault rifle is another initiative development from “Kalashnikov”. Intended to replace obsolete RPK-74U compact assault rifles, this “small sized assault rifle” is a conceptual derivative from traditional AK design; it uses steel-reinforced polymer for upper receiver, with polymer lower receiver hinged below. Compatible with all types of AK-74-type magazines, MA features gas operated action with short stroke piston and rotary bolt with three radial lugs. According to modern requirements, it features side-folding, adjustable shoulder stock and an integrated Picatinny rail on the top. For Special Operations use it can be equipped with detachable sound suppressor.

SVK sniper rifle 
Fully geared-up SVK sniper rifle in 7.62x51 NATO version
SVK sniper rifle
SVK sniper rifle in 7.62x54R

SVK family of self-loading sniper rifles is yet another proposal to replace older generations of guns, in this case the Dragunov SVD and SVDS sniper rifles. SVK rifles are designed in two versions that differ only in type of ammunition – one fires Russian standard 7.62х54R cartridge and another NATO-standard 7.62x51. Both versions feature relatively short (41 cm) but thick and rigid free-floating barrels.

SVK uses short stroke gas system with rotary bolt locking, and an “inverted U”-shaped upper receiver made of steel. Lower receiver module is currently manufactured from aluminum but that later can be changed to polymer. In 7.62x54R this rifle is compatible with Dragunov SVD magazines. Like the MA, it features long integrated Picatinny rail on the top, and an adjustable, side-folding shoulder stock. With proper ammunition, prototypes of SVK sniper rifle already displayed accuracy of 1 MOA or better with 5-round groups.

AK-12 and 7.62mm AK-15 assault rifles
New generation 5.45mm AK-12 (front) and 7.62mm AK-15 (rear) assault rifles

The 5.45mm Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle is a perspective weapon which is eventually intended to replace previous generations of 5.45mm Kalashnikov assault rifles (AK-74, AK-74M) in service with Russian and other governmental forces. AK-12 project was commenced in 2011 by IZHMASH factory (now part of the “Kalashnikov” concern) as a private venture, in an attempt to participate in the “Ratnik” trials which were held by Russian army. The goal of the “Ratnik” trials is to select a new combat kit for Russian Special forces, which, besides other items, shall include 7.62mm and 5.45mm assault rifles of modern design and increased effectiveness.

During these years, AK-12 rifle went through several modifications. The latest one, shown here, was first displayed to the general public during Russian Army-2016 expo. This version, which is noticeably different from the previous one, has successfully completed state trials and is undergoing field trials with Russian army during the 2016. Compared to the previous version, 2016-style AK-12 is said to be more reliable, more accurate and better suited to latest military requirements.

The 7.62mm Kalashnikov AK-15 assault rifle is a version of the new AK-12 chambered for old but still popular 7.62x39 M43 cartridge,.

AK-12 assault rifle
5.45mm AK-12 assault rifle

Kalashnikov AK-12 and AK-15 assault rifles retains traditional Kalashnikov-type gas operated action with rotary bolt locking, and use magazines compatible with previous generations of 5.45mm AK-74 ot 7.62mm AKM rifles respectively. The receiver, gas block, gas tube and barrel are redesigned to achieve better accuracy under all conditions. Trigger and safety / fire selector unit is redesigned to provide three modes of fire, including single shots, 2-round bursts and full automatic fire, and familiar Kalashnikov-style safety/selector switch is provided by an “index finger pad” to ensure faster and more convenient operation.

AK-12 and AK-15 rifles are equipped with integrated Picatinny rails on the top of the redesigned, detachable top cover, which permits simple and fast installation of modern day and night sighting equipment. Bottom of the forend is also equipped with Picatinny rail for various tactical accessories such as vertical grips, flashlights and lasers. Rifle is equipped with side-folding shoulder stock which is adjustable for length of pull. Depending on the tactical situation, a bayonet or quick detachable sound suppressor can be mounted on the barrel. To further increase combat effectiveness of the rifle, it can be equipped with 40mm underballer grenade launcher.

Lebedev PL-15 pistol
9mm Lebedev PL-15 pistol

9mm Lebedev PL-15 pistol was originally introduced in 2015 as PL-14, and changed its designation to PL-15 in 2016, following some internal and external improvements. As of moment of this writing, the Lebedev PL-15 handgun is still in advanced stages of development. The Lebedev PL-15 pistol is a new service-type handgun designed by Dmitry Lebedev. Development of this handgun commenced in 2014, with intent to create a pistol suitable for use as a sidearm for military and law enforcement personnel, with specific modifications intended for “professional handgunners” use (i.e. SWAT type police units that use pistols as primary weapons) and for sport (IPSC, IDPA) shooting. Pistol was designed “from the scratch” with great deal of input from Russian top IPSC shooters and Spetsnaz officers. PL-15 is a traditional, short-recoil operated handgun with modified Browning-type locking and a DAO trigger with internal hammer. Current prototypes feature aluminum alloy frames (which later could be replaced with polymer), fully ambidextrous controls and 15-round magazines.

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