More than one million Kalashnikov assault rifles exported since 2000

Since 2000, Russia’s exports of Kalashnikov assault rifles have amounted to more than 1,000,000 firearms, a spokesperson for the Rosoboronexport arms exporter (a subsidiary of state corporation Rostec) told the TASS news agency on November 19 : “More than 1,000,000 AKs in various configurations have been exported to 30 countries,” he said on the occasion of the company’s anniversary.
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Firing test at Kalashnikov's shooting range in Alabino during Army-2019 defense forum and exhibition (Picture source: Army Recognition)

Rosoboronexport also supports licensed manufacturing of AKs in foreign countries. One of the most anticipated projects is the program of the joint Russian-Indian production of the Picatinny rail-equipped AK203 assault rifles, with localization reaching 100%.

It should be mentioned that Russia has dramatically upgraded its small arms portfolio in recent years. Previously, it primarily consisted of Kalashnikov AK-100th family of assault rifles and carbines, Dragunov 7.62 mm sniper rifles (SVD), Kalashnikov PKM and Pecheneg 7.62 mm general-purpose machineguns (GPMG), and Kalashnikov RPK light machineguns (LMG). Now this portfolio includes both brand new and upgraded weapons. The current spectrum of Russian-made export-oriented firearms comprises of (Kalashnikov AK200th family of firearms (namely, AK200 and AK205 5.45mm assault rifles, AK201 and AK202 5.56mm assault rifles, and AK203 and AK204 7.62mm assault rifles), cutting-edge AK-15 7.62mm assault rifle, the upgraded Dragunov sniper rifle (SVDM), and 6S8 12.7mm anti-material rifle. However, some of those export-oriented weapons fire traditional Russian ammunition, in particular, 5.45×39 (AK200 and AK-12), 7.62×54R (PKM and Pecheneg GPMGs and SVDM sniper rifle), and 12.7×108 (6S8 anti-material rifle).

Russia’s small arms industry also enters previously unknown fields. Traditionally, the Soviet (and, then, Russian) enterprise did not produce high-precision bolt-action sniper rifles — SVD was the only sniper weapon available to the Soviet troops and foreign customers. The Kalashnikov Group (a subsidiary of Rostec) now offers its upgraded SV-98 7.62×54R sniper rifle and a number of civilian and sporting firearms chambered for more popular 7.62×51 (308 Winchester) cartridge.

Russia’s Lobaev Arms company also produces a wide range of high-precision bolt-action sniper rifles chambered for 7.62×51, 7.62×57 (.300 Winchester Magnum), and 8.6×70 (.338 Lapua Magnum) ammunition. At the Interpolitex 2020 international show held in Moscow in October, the enterprise unveiled its newest DVL-10M3 Volkodav modular compact sniper rifle. This firearm can be configured for 7.62×51, 6.5×47 (Lapua), and 6.7 mm Federal ammunition. The sniper rifle weighs 4.5 kg, features a 500 mm barrel, has an accuracy of no more than 0.38 MOA, and is accurate at 1 km.

In the field of tactical support weapons, Russia offers the renowned RPG family of disposable grenade launchers, namely, RPG-26, RPG-27, RPG-29, RShG, RMG, and RPG-32 launchers and grenades.

In the field of small arms, the Russian military industry can supply both reliable and affordable weapons like the AK100th-family assault rifles, Dragunov sniper rifles and RPG-7 portable rocket launchers in their latest modifications, as well as weapons intended to counter more sophisticated, well trained and equipped enemy — like AK200th-family assault rifles and RPG-26 disposable anti-tank rocket launchers. To engage high priority targets (including light armoured vehicles), the 6S8 12.7 mm bull-pup sniper rifle was developed.

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