The Russian maker of the AK-47 has a new assault rifle and may have a buyer in a close US ally

KalashnikovAK-308.
  • Kalashnikov Concern, the Russian maker of the AK-47, unveiled a new rifle in August called the AK-308.
  • It’s unclear whether the Russian military or police will purchase the rifle, but Kalashnikov appears to be trying to export the AK-308 to India.
  • Other potential buyers may include Brazil and Pakistan.

Kalashnikov Concern, the Russian maker of the AK-47, unveiled a new rifle in August called the AK-308, which it demonstrated at the Army-2018 expo in Moscow.

“The weapon is based on the AK103 submachine gun for the cartridge 7.62×51 mm with elements and components of the AK-12 automatic machine,” Kalashnikov Concern said in a press statement at the time.

“At the moment, preparations are under way for preliminary testing of weapons,” Kalashnikov added.

The AK-308 weighs about 9 1/2 pounds with an empty 20-round magazine, Kalashnikov said. The gun also has a dioptric sight and a foldable stock.

It’s unclear whether the Russian military or police may purchase it, but the AK-308 appears to have been designed and is being marketed for export, according to the foreign-policy magazine The National Interest.

And since New Dehli has been looking for 7.62×51 mm rifles, and passed in May on other Kalashnikov weapons, The National Interest’s Mark Episkopos viewed the AK-308 as “an explicit Russian attempt to become India’s primary rifle exporter.”

India has long been a buyer of Russian arms.

Last week, New Dehli purchased two new Admiral Grigorovich-class stealth frigates after purchasing two more in later October.

In early October, New Dehli signed a $US5.43 billion contract with Russia for S-400 missile-defence systems, and the two countries were even expected to sign a deal for Russian AK-103 assault rifles, which shoot 7.62×39 mm rounds.

In April, Jane’s 360 reported that India put on hold its collaboration to build the the Su-57 stealth fighter with Russia, but Russian state-owned media outlets have since reported that discussions between Moscow and New Dehli continue.

Regardless of whether Russia will procure a contract with India for the AK-308, Kalashnikov may also have other potential buyers, including Pakistan and Brazil, The National Interest reported.

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