Weapons: Russia Seeks A Foreign Replacement For The AK-47

Archives

January 26, 2011: The Russian Defense Minister caused a firestorm of bad publicity recently when he announced that Russia was shopping for foreign assault rifles and sniper rifles. This offended many Russians, who consider the AK-47, and all of its derivatives, to be perfectly suitable for Russian troops, and national icons as well. But the defense minister has a point. Professional soldiers prefer more accurate assault rifles, and Russia wants to create a more professional army. While the AK-47 was popular with irregulars and bandits, that's mainly because it was a rugged weapon that could survive a lot of abuse and neglect, and still fire. Not very accurately, but as amateurs often fired the AK-47 type weapon on full automatic, accuracy was beside the point. Russians also take pride in the fact that the AK-47 was the first modern assault rifle when it was introduced in 1947. That's not true either. A very similar weapon, the German Sturmgewehr 44 (also known as the MP43, MP43/1, MP44 and StG44) [VIDEO]  was introduced, on the Russian front, in July 1943 and remained in production, and use, until 1945. The Russians had four years to examine captured Sturmgewehr 44s. It's resemblance to the AK-47 was no accident.

Meanwhile, Russia has implemented a five year plan to spend $12 billion on Western weapons and weapons manufacturing technology. The most visible deals are those with France to obtain four Mistral class amphibious ships (that look like small aircraft carriers), another one for Israeli UAVs and yet another for Italian wheeled armored vehicles. In particular, Russia wants to obtain the manufacturing technology. Russian companies have shown that they can adapt to Western manufacturing methods, and produce comparable goods in Russia, with Russian staff. But Russia has long resisted doing this, legally, with military equipment. Now Russia wants to obtain Western technology and manufacturing techniques for designing and building better assault and sniper rifles.

 

Article Archive

Weapons: Current 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 2001 2000 1999

X

Save StrategyPage

Over the years, we have tried to keep in-your-face ads off our site. If our readers have complained about an ad, we have looked into it and 90% of the time removed the ad. Unfortunately, revenues from standard ads are just not enough to keep us alive.

What can you do to help resuscitate StrategyPage? There are three possibilities:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..

We appreciate any help you can give us.

Subscribe   Contribute   Close