200 Minus 188

If you’re the manager of a state-owned industrial enterprise, what do you do when the Deputy Prime Minister visits on an Udmurtia inspection tour to chastize you for shoddy inventory control?  You tell him that sales are up 57% and let him play with some new toys, that’s what.

It’s all part of the post-soviet playbook at Izhmash, where Dimi Rogozin got hands-on with the RF’s next-gen AK-12 (fka AK-200) standard-issue infantry rifle and got some face-time with international celebrity Mikhail Kalashnikov.  Turning lemons into lemonade, Russian-style.

Izhmash has unveiled a prototype of its new Kalashnikov assault rifle with improved ergonomics and tactical flexibility.  The new rifle, dubbed AK-12, is a basic platform for the development of nearly 20 different modifications of the weapon … for cartridges varying from 5.45 x 39mm to 7.62 x 51mm NATO.  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.

Actually, this looks like the older model AK-74 Kalashnikov

Comrade General K. is in his early 90s, but his name is a global brand whose renown surpasses even that of Comrade Bear himself.  That takes some doing!

Lunghu likes the fact that Izhmash and Comrade Kalashnikov kept the best characteristics of the classic weapon while grafting on a new scion of good-ol’ Yankee ingenuity:  the Picatinny rail accessory system.  These features –together with price performance–  may help Izhmash achieve greater penetration in African and Asian markets where local military command structures are currently susceptible to U.S. influence.  A few judiciously-distributed “commission payments” wouldn’t hurt either.

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