Kalashnikov AK-12 has been upgraded in light of Moscow's military operation in Ukraine, the manufacturer says
Russia's Rostec defense consortium will start producing its newest model of the Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle this year. It is the fifth generation of the legendary firearm that received a new design reflecting the experience the Russian troops have gained during the ongoing military operation in Ukraine, the head of Rostec, Sergey Chemezov, has said.
"We are working in cooperation with the military and are getting their feedback," he noted as he unveiled the upgraded rifle on Friday. "We can promptly react to the changing needs [of the army] and introduce construction changes as well as improve our products."
According to Chemezov, the new AK-12 model received "major improvements" and became much more user-friendly and ergonomic. "The new model will be mass produced this year," he added.
The AK-12 assault rifle has a 5.45 mm caliber. It has increased operational accuracy and fire density in comparison to the earlier generations. The rifle also features several Picatinny rails for gun sights and laser target indicators.
The weapon is just one of the Kalashnikov Group's cutting-edge products. These also include the 5.56x45 mm AK-19 assault rifle and the 9mm PPK-20 submachine gun. The group produces the AK-15 assault rifles with a 7.62mm caliber for the Russian Army and AK-19 for international clients.
Earlier in January, the Kalashnikov Group, which is part of Rostec, reported a 20-year record production increase as its firearms division manufactured 40% more military and civilian small arms in 2022 than in 2021. Kalashnikov fulfilled 45 state military contracts, 24 military-technical cooperation agreements, and one deal to license production elsewhere, describing them as "the biggest deals in history."
Russian officials have previously said the country's defense industry had kicked into high gear in response to Kiev's western backers "pumping" Ukraine full of arms. Last month, President Vladimir Putin pointed to the need to fully supply "every platoon" fighting on the frontlines against Kiev's forces as he spoke to the Russian defense industry executives in the city of Tula.