The Russian Ministry of Defence has officially approved Kalashnikov Concern’s AK-12 and AK-15 assault rifles for use by its Ground Forces, Airborne and Marine troops.

Both the AK-12 and AK-15 were developed as part of Russia’s “Ratnik” (warrior) program, which—as Russian news agency TASS reports—is an infantry combat system with 10 subsystems that can be modified to meet any combat situation, weather condition and other challenges. It’s comprised of over 40 different items, including small arms, helmets, body armor, communications and navigation devices. It’s touted as being a system built for the “soldier of the future,” with the goal being to equip all of the Russian Armed Forces with the system by 2020. Around 200,000 kits have reportedly been delivered thus far.

The AK-12 in 5.45×39 and AK-15 in 7.62x39mm feature a 16.3-inch barrel and 30-round magazine capacity. According to the Kalashnikov Concern press release:

Both AK-12 and AK-15 rifles have successfully passed all tests, including field trials by various units of Russian army and in various climate zones.

New Kalashnikov rifles combine famous, battle-proven high reliability with modern ergonomics, increased hit probability and capabilities to effectively use all modern accessories, from red dot, night and IR sights to underbarrel grenade launchers, forward grips, lasers and flashlights, sound suppressors and more.

AK-12 and AK-15 rifles share most of its arts and assemblies, with key differences being in the ammunition used. AK-12 is chambered for Russian Army standard issue 5.45×39 ammunition, while AK-15 is chambered for older, but still very popular 7.62×39 ammunition. “Kalashnikov” group also designed compact versions of both rifles, known as AK-12K and AK-15K, which are better suited for CQB use by Special Forces, or as Personal Defense Weapons for heavy armament and vehicle crews.

See a quick rundown of specs below.

AK-12 & AK-15 Specifications

  • Caliber: 5.45х39 (AK-12) or 7.62х39 (AK-15)
  • Length, overall: 880-940 mm
  • Length, shoulder stock folded: 690 mm
  • Barrel length: 415 mm
  • Weight, with empty magazine: 3.5 kg
  • Rate of fire: 700 rounds/min
  • Magazine capacity: 30 rounds

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