Russian arms manufacturer Kalashnikov, founded in 1807, supplied weapons to Russia’s imperial tsars and still equips the Russian army today.
Though it is most famous for the AK-47 rifle, the company – whose full name is Kalashnikov Concern – has expanded into a global arms manufacturer for 27 countries.
But some of their latest prototypes appear downright bizarre and have been widely mocked by experts.
There is no hard evidence to suggest that these prototypes are in use yet or fit for purpose. Leonid Bershidsky, a Bloomberg opinion writer, said most Kalashnikov prototypes are just for show.
Take a look at 15 of the company’s bizarre new prototypes below – from personal aircrafts to desert buggies with machine guns mounted on top.
1. This manned UAV known as a “concept aircraft,” which looks like a miniature Pod-Racer from “Star Wars.” It’s not clear what it’s used for.
Here’s what it looks like without its protective shell. The aircraft looks like it is propelled by eight spinning blades around the pilot, who doesn’t seem too bothered by health and safety issues.
2. This armour-plated assault-boat for Russia’s “Special Operations Forces.”
In this very dramatic, Hollywood-like demonstration video, the armour-plated boat takes mock heavy artillery fire, before beaching and deploying ground troops.
Kalashnikov looks to have slapped on some fun special effects, just to increase the spectacle.
The company says the boat has a range of 400 nautical miles and comes with a UAV that hovers over the boat as extra surveillance.
3. This underwhelming desert buggy called the “Tourist,” fitted with an automatic machine gun mounted on the roof…
… which, upon closer inspection, looks like a normal dune-buggy with a gun placed on the roof.
4. This bizarre weapon, known as the REX-1. Kalashnikov says it can shoot down drones with electronic waves, jam mobile communications and WiFi signals, which would make electronic devices useless.
Here’s a demonstration video Kalashnikov made:
Kalashnikov say it can also also jam mobile communications and Wi-Fi signals.
5. This slingshot-launched video surveillance UAV, called the “ZALA 421-16E2.” The company says it can operate from as far as 22 miles away from the controller, and fits into a portable bag.
6. This “heavy motorbike,” also known as “Izh,” which has a maximum speed of 155 mph. It will apparently be part of President Vladimir Putin’s motorcade next year.
Take a look at the wild promotional video for it.
7. These electric police interceptor motorbikes, supposedly for the Moscow Police to use.
8. This golden robot named “Igorek,” which seems straight out of the movie “Aliens.” The company says it will be used to “solve engineering and combat tasks,” without specifying what they would be.
9. This “shield special vehicle,” a crowd control truck designed for the Russian police for riot control. It is apparently equipped with a protected cabin, water cannon, steel shield, and can deploy a huge fold-out wall to block rioters. Watch a live demonstration of how the anti-riot wall works here:
10. This new “silent” electric bike, designed for the Russian special services and is perfect for search operations and raids, Kalashnikov says. It’s not clear how it can remain quiet, but Kalashnikov says it “has already passed the first tests.”
Watch this video from 0:27 onwards to see it in action. Kalashnikov says it can also move across rough terrain quietly.
11. This AI-controlled gun can detect and recognise targets, determine priorities, and open fire autonomously, Kalashnikov says. The company says the gun can also avoid destroying objects that aren’t dangerous, like certain animals.
12. This vest, made by Kalashnikov subsidy Zala Aero, that supposedly blocks enemies from tracking your location. It looks straight out of a James Bond film. The company didn’t give much more information on how it would work.
13. The “Uran-6 complex,” a landmine detector that looks a bit like farm machinery.
According to the promotional video, the user can remotely operate the machine with a tablet device.
14. The SVCh sniper rifle, which Putin got to try out himself.
Russian media claimed that the president hit the target “more than half the time,” even though the target was placed at “maximum distance.”
15. The CV-1 electric car — which has a Soviet-era aesthetic — that Kalashnikov thinks can rival Elon Musk’s Tesla.
Kalashnikov claimed that the car, which was unveiled at a military exposition in Moscow this August, can run for 217 miles and reach 62 mph in six seconds.
The company also told Russian news outlet RBC it expected the the CV-1 to “keep up” with Tesla.
Bershidsky, the Bloomberg opinion writer, called the electric car “goofy.”
“The prototype is just a way to draw attention to the company’s bold diversification away from guns,” he wrote.
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