Russian Defense Minister Anatoly Serdyukov caused a flurry of debate in Russia, saying that the pride and joy of the Russian military, the Kalashnikov assault rifle and the SVD sniper rifle were “outdated”, and that he plans to buy foreign small arms weapon.
Such a statement was made behind closed doors during a meeting with deputies of the lower house of the Russian parliament on the eve of the New Year, as reported by the Russian media. Serdyukov introduced them to the plan for the purchase of foreign weapons as part of a large-scale military reform, which also provides for the acquisition of French Mistral class helicopter carriers for the Russian naval fleet.
Such statements forced the Russian military leadership to defend their weapon, which is for them a reliable "workhorse."
The Kalashnikov assault rifle, especially the AK-47, is a Russian invention, causing pride. Designed and built in Russia during the Second World War, the AK-47 is considered the first real assault rifle. He is known worldwide for its reliability in all conditions, reliable shooting, ease of use, low cost and high lethal force. Military science teaches that the AK-47 can be put in the dirt, pull it out a year later and start shooting.
For this reason, it has become the favorite weapon of terrorists and rebel organizations around the world. The Russian military began to use the AK-47 more than sixty years ago, and since then little has changed in this weapon.
Criticism of the Minister of Defense sounded from all sides. The Russian information site Pravda.ru quotes the famous weapons designer Dmitry Shiryaev, who stated:
“Foreigners themselves admit that our small arms are one of the best in the world. Show me a foreign rifle products that could compete with ours in all characteristics, including the level of reliability. The main problem is that now there is no one to work in the arms industry because of low wages, and foreign purchases can ruin it all ”.
Former Russian special forces fighter Sergei Glusky said on the Pravda website that Serdyukov’s statements are untrue.
“The current Minister of Defense is not a military man - that’s the problem. Where can he understand the merits and demerits of a particular type of weapon? It is impossible for people who are not knowledgeable in such matters to make such important decisions. ”
Glusky, who once commanded the anti-terrorism unit, cited the fact that this is a favorite weapon of terrorists as an argument in defense of the machine gun.
“Terrorists from the Caucasus have always used Kalash and SVD,” he said. “With the financing from abroad that they had, they could easily get both American and French weapons.” And if the means of communication they often were of foreign manufacture, then they most often, if not always, used Russian weapons. ”
Fox News military analyst, Major General (Ret.) Bob Scales, is not surprised that Russians are looking for better weapons, but suggests that they should not expect American samples to be purchased in the near future.
"The AK-47 is outdated because it is not an exact weapon," said Scales. “I suspect that the Russians are looking for something more sophisticated and of higher quality, something more universal and precise - and they are ready to sacrifice the AK-47, which was created in 1947,”
According to Scales, the sighting range in 400 meters is not enough in the context of modern warfare. The gold standard of Western weapons is the American M-4 rifle, whose target range is 600 meters and more.
But Scales notes that the Russians will look for something else, say, the German G-4 or French and British 1 mm guns, which are not inferior to the M-5,56. Israeli Galil Russian machines are also unlikely to buy, although they say that they combine qualities such as the Western accuracy and reliability of the AK-47.
The main problem is, says Scales, that a weapon is not just a technique, it is a manifestation of military culture.
“American philosophy has always been that each rifle is a high-precision tool that combines the latest technology. But in Russia it is just the opposite. It should be a popular weapon. It should be such a weapon that any schoolchild, any peasant can disassemble, assemble and learn to shoot him for 10-15 minutes. Such is the installation of the Russian military. ”
And since today in the world 110 of millions of Kalashnikov assault rifles are manufactured, in the near future they are unlikely to disappear.