MOSCOW, Russia – Kalashnikov Concern is planning to begin mass production of the AK-308 rifle with standard NATO ammunition in 2019, company director-general Vladimir Dmitriev said.
“The factory tests have been completed and the preliminary tests are coming in. If all goes well then this year we will be able to start mass production,” Dmitriev said to the Kommersant newspaper.
“The AK-308 is certainly interesting as a combat weapon, since assault rifles of this caliber are extremely rare, but at the same time we expect it to have domestic demand as a civilian weapon because this is one of the main guns for hunting rifles,” said Dmitriev.
The weapon was developed based on the AK-103 assault rifle with 7.62×51 mm ammunition (standard ammunition from the NATO member countries) with elements and components of the AK-12 automatic rifle, according to Kalashnikov Concern.
Vladimir Dmitriev also said that Russia and Armenia had signed a contract to supply the AK-12 assault rifles to Yerevan.
“For the time being, I can only say that Armenia will be the first country besides Russia that will buy AK-12. The contract has been signed and we are preparing a first small batch, which consists of about 50 assault rifles,” he confirmed.
Manufacturer Kalashnikov began serial supply of the newest AK-12 rifle to the Russian army, the Russian manufacturer’s press office said in December.
“On December 20, the Kalashnikov consortium sent the first batch of AK-12, equivalent to 2,500 units, to the Ministry of Defense of Russia. This is the first customer to receive the Kalashnikov consortium the newest automatic rifles,” read the statement said.
Previously, reports have emerged that the Russian Defense Ministry has adopted the AK-12 and AK-15 assassination rifles, developed by the Russian manufacturer Kalashnikov, to equip the Ratnik “soldier of the future.”
Ratnik is a second-generation military equipment that encompasses modern weapons, effective protection system, media and intelligence – about ten different subsystems.