|The Kalashnikov AK-12 (formerly АК-200) is the newest derivative of the Soviet/Russian AK-47 series of assault rifles and is proposed for possible general issue to the Russian Army, and was undergoing testing. However, in 2013, new Russian sources announced that the regular Russian Army is not adopting the rifle and the AK-74 and AK-74M will remain standard issue weapons for the immediate future.
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On May 25, 2010, Russia`s media published a Russian Defence Ministry statement that the AK-12 rifle was to be tested in 2011. The demonstration model (AK-200), presented to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during his official visit to inspect the products of the Izhmash arms manufacturing plant in Izhevsk, was apparently a basic AK-74 in standard 5.45×39mm caliber. On the demonstrator, the traditional locations of cocking handle, safety lever and fire selector remained unchanged, but the AK-12 production model featured revisions to all of these features. The Izhmash demonstrator was fitted with the large capacity 60 round casket magazine.
In January 2012, the Russian Deputy Defense Minister announced that the Russian Army would not be buying the AK-12, as they had millions of surplus AK-74 rifles, and over concerns of the financial state of Izhmash. Despite this, Russia began trials of the rifle on November 2, 2012. It was tested for its effectiveness when exposed to freezing cold, desert heat, humidity, dust, and impacts. By November 23, trials were about 80% complete. During these initial tests, the AK-12 was found to have a "range of defects." The specific problems were not revealed, as they were considered "the developer`s confidential information." Izhmash reported that the faults were fixable, and that the trials precisely highlighted weaknesses in the design for changes to be incorporated. Preliminary tests of the AK-12 were completed on November 30, 2012. Izhmash worked to fix problems with the rifle that occurred during the trials. Even though the Russian Army stated they will not introduce a new rifle in the near future, state acceptance trials were to begin in June 2013, and conclude by mid-2013. Series production is due to begin by the end of 2013. Izhmash is preparing 30 prototypes for state trials. If tests go well, they have the capacity to produce 1 million rifles per year for buyers.
On 16 September 2013, the Deputy Chairman of the Military-Industrial Commission of Russia said the Russian Army will start receiving AK-12 assault rifles chambered in 5.45 mm and 7.62 mm in 2014. The new rifle will be put into service along with new handguns, machine guns, and sniper rifles. The AK-12 has nearly 20 different modifications compared to the basic platform. State trials will begin in fall 2013. However, on 23 September 2013, the "Izvestiya" tabloid wrote that, according to an anonymous source, the AK-12 will not be adopted or even undergo state tests due to shortcomings in preliminary tests. The company believes they can make the gun pass state tests.
The AK-12 has external modifications, most of which are consistent with the modifications favoured by Russia`s specialist, professional military units: Picatinny rails—allowing the attachment of modular accessories, including advanced optical sight combinations, laser illuminators, flashlights, vertical foregrips, bipods and grenade launchers. An improved adjustable telescoping buttstock is also fitted. The rear sight has been moved from the front of the receiver to the rear, the combination selector lever/dust cover on the right side of the receiver has been replaced by a thumb-activated ambidextrous selector lever above both sides of the pistol grip, ambidextrous push-button magazine release, ambidextrous ejection port and reversible cocking handle above vertical foregrip. Firing modes include safe, semi, 3 round burst, and full auto. To improve accuracy, the rifle has a new muzzle brake and the barrel has improved rifling.
A carbine, compact carbine, submachine gun, sniper rifle and light machine gun versions of the AK-12 are also planned, as well as an export version. Models for the civilian market are also being produced. An experimental self lubricating nano-composite coating is also being tested on the AK-12 rifle.
Other forms of modularity in the AK-12 system are likely to include interchangeable barrel lengths and calibers (5.45×39mm, 5.56×45mm NATO, 7.62×39mm and 7.62×51mm NATO).
n November 2012, Izhmash announced the 2013 release of the AK-12 for the civilian market. It is semi-automatic and will be available in .223 Remington and 12 gauge.
Modular Rifle (Assault / Battle Rifle / shotgun)
Gas-operated, long stroke gas piston, rotating bolt
5.45×39mm, 5.56×45mm NATO, 7.62×39mm, 9×39mm, unknown 6.5 mm cartridge currently under development, 6.5mm Grendel, 7.62×51mm, NATO 12 Gauge
3.3 kg (7.28 lb)
945 mm (37.2 in) (725 mm stock folded)
415 mm (16.3 in); Interchangeable
30-round detachable box magazine, 60-round AK-74 compatible casket magazine, 100-round drum magazine (from RPK-74)
Box, Drum or casket Magazine
Iron; Picatinny rail provided for optics
Rate of fire:
650 (full auto) or 1000 (3 round burst) rounds/min
900 m/s (2,953 ft/s) with 5.45×39mm