Various modifications of a new Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle as well as a host of other small arms will be put in service with the Russian armed forces in 2014, a senior government official said, RIA Novosti reported.
"In 2014, the Russian army will start receiving new assault rifles, handguns, machine guns and sniper rifles, including 5.45-mm and 7.62-mm variants of the Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle," Deputy Chairman of the Military-Industrial Commission, Oleg Bochkarev, said in an interview with Echo Moskvy radio on Monday.
Development of the AK-12 began in mid-2011. The new weapon retains the overall layout and features of the AK-74, in service with the Russian army since the 1970s, but features several modifications and ergonomic changes.
The new assault rifle has being developed as a basic platform for nearly 20 different modifications of the weapon.
The rifle features three firing modes: single shot, three-shot burst and automatic fire. The muzzle of the AK-12 has been designed to shoot foreign-standard barrel-mounted grenades.
The weapon is also equipped with Picatinny rails to mount optical, and night sights, grenade launchers, target indicators and other special equipment.
The AK-12 has a folding stock, and a height-adjustable heelpiece. The weapon can be used by both left-handed and right-handed people, and can be easily handled with one hand.
The state trials of the AK-12 assault rifle are slated for the fall of 2013.
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