Machine of the future. Wait is not long

2011 year turned out to be rich in sensational or sometimes even scandalous news relative to the Russian Armed Forces. The reform is moving along the planned path, and not all its nuances are understandable to the narrow-minded masses. Yes, and scandalous news regularly receive official denial.

Another wave of disputes began in September. Then the Ministry of Defense stated that it no longer intends to purchase new copies of the AK-74 assault rifle. Immediately, the near-armed public was divided into two irreconcilable camps: some began to repeat that it was time to stop buying this “old” and start equipping troops with new weapons, especially since the new types are more than enough, while others began to appeal to the price, reliability and other "consumer characteristics" of the 74. There is, however, another group of people who reacted to this news as always: they demanded that the Defense Ministry be dispersed, they all were jailed and shot for reliability.

But these are emotions, and in the military, they cannot be trusted in any way. Let's try to figure out why the ministry decided to stop the purchase of AK-74, for what purpose it was done and what will be in the hands of our soldiers in a few years.

At the moment, AK-74 and its modifications are the main small arms of the Russian army. The total number of 74-x issued exceeds 5 million units, and the production of AK-74M and the "hundredth" line continues to this day.

However, a new army machine is needed. And the sooner the better. For this role, experts and amateurs nominate both Kovrov AEK-971 and Izhevsk AN-94. But economically and technologically more profitable will be the continuation of the Kalashnikov line.

In this case, you should pay attention to the AK-107 and AK-108 machines. Like AN-94 and AEK-971, they have balanced automation. Those. when firing recoil decreases, which has a positive effect on accuracy and accuracy. In 107 and Kalashnikovs 108, a system with two gas pistons is used: when one of them cocks the automatics when fired, the second moves in the opposite direction and compensates for the impulse of the first. A similar scheme has been applied in AEK-971, but the Kalashnikov has a simpler and less prone to clogging structure.

In 2009, Izhmash announced the start of work on the 200 series. These machines, according to the then general director of the enterprise V. Gorodetsky, will be the new fifth generation of the Kalashnikov family, and their characteristics will be half the fourth generation (the first generation - AK arr. 49 of the year, the second - AKM, the third - AK-74 and its modifications, the fourth - the "hundredth" series). It was originally planned to start the tests of AK-200 this year, but due to financial problems of the enterprise, the dates have shifted. Now, the Ministry of Defense issued "Izhmash" a new technical task. How far the two hundredth series in its current form satisfies it is unknown.

But we will try to analyze the foreign experience, the desire of "end users" and imagine what the new model of weapon will look like.

Dimensions. For mass production, the classical scheme is now the most advantageous: the store in front, the handle and the trigger - in the back. But in terms of convenience and size it is more profitable to build a bullpup. At the same time, the latter option has its drawbacks - a left-handed shooter can easily get a sleeve in the face.

Cartridge. In the coming years, revolutionary new ammunition is not expected. Yes, and warehouses, clogged finished cartridges, can not be forgotten. Most likely, the cartridge will remain the same - low-pulse 5,45x39 mm. So the dimensions of the store will also remain the same, and the capacity in 30 cartridges suits everyone.

Materials. Receiver with a lid, barrel and other "stuffing" will still remain metal, you can not even talk about it. But the butt, grip, shop and handguard will be plastic. This is not a tribute to fashion, but concern for the soldier and nature. The same wooden or metal parts weigh more. Perhaps plastic of new varieties, more durable and resistant to impact, will be used. But the massive use of such composite materials, of which it will be possible to make a receiver, will have to wait until the sixth or seventh generation.

Automation. The most promising is a system similar to the AK-107, with two pistons. The scheme is a bit more complicated than usual, but it has an excellent effect on accuracy - it improves up to two times. Hopefully, the soldiers of the future will not get confused, which piston to insert.

Sights. The classic "front sight - open sight" system is not going anywhere. There will also be a side plate for mounting the sight. But on the export versions of the machine is quite possible to install Picatinny rail or Weaver. Accordingly, on the machine you can install any sight, compatible with the seat. The machine gun is planned for mass production in the amount of hundreds of thousands of pieces, so you should not wait for the “native” collimator sight, as on the German G36 rifle. It is very expensive toy for mass weapons.

"Body kit." Of course, to be a device for mounting under-barrel grenade launcher. Perhaps even under the forearm will also be installed mounting strips. Moreover, this structural feature should be to the liking of the special forces: a “tactical” grip, a flashlight, or something else can be attached to a regular forearm. In the meantime, it is necessary either to install on a machine not a native forearm, or to reinvent eerie constructions from a machine gun, a lantern and scotch.

But these are only assumptions. How much they will be correct, we learn only in 2012 year. It was then that the new machine should be submitted to the state tests.

One can hope that Izhmash will cope in time, because the financial problems of the enterprise are slowly beginning to be solved. At the beginning of this month (October 2011), the debt restructuring of NPO Izhmash to Sberbank was announced.

The existing technical project and the intention to continue to create their own weapons add points to the image of Russia. Many developed foreign countries, for example, arm their armies with purchased weapons or make them under license. And the Russian defense industry not only provides its own army, but also works for export.
Patriotic shooting weapon assault rifles

Vadim Sobin
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