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Weapons: Russia Seeks A Foreign Replacement For The AK-47
   Next Article → WARPLANES: Hummingbird Humps It For Soldiers And Marines
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.

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YelliChink       1/26/2011 7:02:06 PM
7.62x39 M43 Russian ammo came out roughly about the time when 7.92 Kurz was introduced in Germany.
 
AK-47 and MP44 are only topologically resembling each other. Otherwise, the internals of AK derived from Garand, while FAL is the direct descent of MP44.
 
And whoever talk about replacing AKs is nuts.
 
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mareo2       1/26/2011 9:32:58 PM
If the Russian Federation want a rifle with better accuracy, they just can produce the Korobov TKB-022. Is compact, accurate, look futuristic and is 100 % russian designed.
 
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sasdigger    sasdigger   1/27/2011 9:18:42 PM
Just happened to come across article on Russian replacement for AK-47. See AK 200:The 21st Century AK at the Firearm Blog.
 
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davidhughes       1/27/2011 10:14:47 PM
I suspect that this was a mis-translation of the original remarks - probably along the lines of 'shopping for Western sniper and special forces rifles'. If so this is a common practise for the Soviets (and Chinese); the Russians hunting for new ideas rather than the Chinese practise of reverse engineering.
 
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heraldabc       1/28/2011 3:34:50 AM

I suspect that this was a mis-translation of the original remarks - probably along the lines of 'shopping for Western sniper and special forces rifles'. If so this is a common practise for the Soviets (and Chinese); the Russians hunting for new ideas rather than the Chinese practise of reverse engineering.

Its a matter of respect for the engineer and the scientist, I think. Maybe its a cultural thing with the Russians, but even when they 'borrow' an idea (the Tu-4 Bull or the Nene engine), you can read in the historical accounts the Russians both praise the ingenuity they saw in the foreign tech and the political straight-jackets that they sometimes had to wear when they were forbidden or were afraid to change something they thought they could improve or do better.
 
The mainland Chinese (of necessity and with over  2000 years of duplicitous ruling elite as pathological liars cultural past that the PRC bandits made worse) are more comfortable with the outright lies and thefts we see them commit. The PRC bandits will even lie to themselves and each other to save 'face' when the plain public evidence calls them the liars and thieves they are. Now the Russians will steal and lie to obtain national advantage (who doesn't?) yet they are morally embarrassed than most when they do so (because they actually believe that if they had the resources they could do as well or even better-and they can.).  Whenever  it comes to science and engineering and when they can (even when its politically inexpedient to do or say so) they are original and honest. (Global warming data frauds, and the current ITER engineering debacle are examples.)   
 
H.       
 
 
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Bolide       1/28/2011 5:03:43 AM
Russia would be far better off spending their funds on new facilities, information technology, aircraft.... anything but replacing their infantry rifle, which is still "good enough".  It may not be as sleek or flashy as a G-36, but it reaches out far enough, hits hard enough, and is plenty reliable... and is at hand.  Russia needs to run the AK for as long as it can.
 
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Mike From Brielle    Why not.....   1/28/2011 3:35:06 PM
just rip off the AR-18 (either bullpup or conventional) design like everyone else does and call it an original design?
 
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BigDaddy       1/31/2011 3:31:31 PM
The Russians haven't used the AK-47 in 35 years. 
 
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smitty237    Come on, dude   1/31/2011 9:35:47 PM

The Russians haven't used the AK-47 in 35 years. 

That's like saying that the United States hasn't used the M-16 in 35 years.  Technically accurate, but misleading.  Most lay people wouldn't know the difference between the AK-47, AKM, AK-74, et al, but they do know a little bit about he Kalashinikov family of rifles.  This site is written for people with some knowledge on a lot of different subjects related to military matters, not experts.  Let's cut SP some slack every once in a while. 
 
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trenchsol       2/2/2011 7:12:53 AM
Looks like there is politics involved and some economy related motivation there. It seems that Russian small arms industry is in difficulties. Articles here.
 
 
and here
 

As a matter of fact, Russian designers created something like dozen or more of new firearms, in last two decades. None of them  was deployed in significant numbers. Perhaps the only exception is "Vintorez" silent sniper rifle, which seems to be often used by elite and special troops of Russia and some neighbor countries.
 
Other weapons, like An-94 or OC-14 seem to be forgotten.....
 
Israeli Tar-21 gains more and more positive reception lately, Maybe....
 
DG
 
 
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