Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov

Soldiers of future to be armed with Kalashnikov guns

A few years ago Izhevsk gunsmiths started developing small automatic weapons of new generation fundamentally different from the world's most popular Kalashnikov. However, they will continue modernization of Izhmash AK 200 series because there has been interest of the Russian secret services.

This sounds inspiring. Yet, unfortunately, Russian gunsmiths do not enjoy many other successes. Not everything is that rosy in the development of Russian small arms.  

There are numerous designs in development, but in fact there is no revolution in small arms in Russia (as well as in other countries). Apparently, it is not even expected. Most military experts on small arms believe that Kalashnikov weapons system was a revolution in the middle of the last century.

Experts forecast that the rifle systems based on the idea of ​​Kalashnikov will remain the main weapons of mass armies over the next 30 to 40 years.

Almost all experts on the subject agreed on one thing: so far, there is no serious alternative to the further modernization of the AK.

A well-known veteran of the Armed Forces of the USSR, retired Major General Victor Kopylov who has, so to speak, the conceptual approach to all complex problems, tried to shed some light on the subject:

"Unfortunately, we must admit that in the modern Russian army there is no promising program and even a coherent concept or doctrine of infantry weapons.

Power structures, as the end user, since the beginning of the 1990s have not had a concept of small arms, and took the following position: "Everything available to us is hopelessly out of date, why don't you make something new, and we will choose what we like. If we don't choose anything, we will by it abroad."

In fact, many (rather, the majority) of the current Russian companies and companies engaged in the manufacture of small arms design, develop and even test new products nearly at their own expense. This means that they build something new on their own, and then offer it to the military.

Even in the state armaments program valid through 2020 the prospects of development of high-velocity weapons are described quite poorly - read it for yourself.

In this situation businesses of various forms of ownership got engaged in self-promotion of their designs in the market, including the world market, based on their own understanding of the capabilities and security of their own country. Everyone has a different understanding.   

Generally, I agree that the immortal Kalashnikov and its endless modifications will remain the main mass (I emphasize - MASS!) weapon of the Russian regular army. Nearly half of the world is armed with it.

However, in recent years the actions of Defense Minister Sergei Shoigu in matters of rearmament have been looking encouraging. One can only hope that Russia will develop a clear concept of small arms.  

I expect that many experts may disagree with the author of the article or with the expert, but this is a cause for debate.  

Andrei Mikhailov


Read the original in Russian