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New Kalashnikov Rifles Seen

Various modifications of a new Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle as well as a host of other small arms will be put in service with the Russian armed forces in 2014, a senior government official said.

"In 2014, the Russian army will start receiving new assault rifles, handguns, machine guns and sniper rifles, including 5.45-mm and 7.62-mm variants of the Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle," deputy chairman of the Military-Industrial Commission, Oleg Bochkarev, said in an interview with Ekho Moskvy radio Monday.

Development of the AK-12 began in mid-2011. The new weapon retains the overall layout and features of the AK-74, in service with the Russian army since the 1970s, but features several modifications and ergonomic changes.

The new assault rifle has been developed as a basic platform for nearly 20 different modifications of the weapon.

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