The Kalashnikov Concern presented a number of export novelties at the IDEX-2021 international exhibition. As the general director of the concern Dmitry Tarasov said in an interview with RT, the company demonstrated a Lebedev pistol, an AK-19 assault rifle chambered for a NATO cartridge, a new anti-aircraft missile, special forces equipment, a smart gun for civilian needs and a reconnaissance tiltrotor. According to the head of the company, the Middle East is an important sales market, and Kalashnikov’s products are popular in this region.
The general director of the Kalashnikov concern, Dmitry Tarasov, spoke in an interview with RT about the latest developments of the enterprise presented at the international exhibition IDEX-2021, which is now taking place in the capital of the UAE.
“In fact, we have a lot of new products that we show for the first time abroad. Perhaps you can start with Lebedev’s pistol. We brought two options to Abu Dhabi: for concealed wearing in 9 x 19 mm caliber (PLC) and a full-size sample, “Tarasov said.
The Lebedev compact pistol is a shortened version of the PL-15. Weapons weighing 0.71 kg are designed for 14 rounds. In Russia, it was first presented at the Army-2017 forum.
The PLC is intended for use by operational police and special services units. The designers have worked to improve the ergonomics of the weapon, adapting it for shooting with the left hand.
In turn, the PL-15 is a more powerful weapon for employees of the internal troops (in Russia – Rosgvardia) and army officers. Thanks to the presence of the Picatinny rail on both versions of the pistol, you can install various additional equipment – scopes, laser designators and night vision devices.
“This is a modern pistol. In terms of ergonomics, it is made very carefully and is not inferior to all world analogues, and in a number of characteristics, I think, it even surpasses them. Lebedev’s pistol is subjected to the most severe tests, according to the results of which it can be argued that its systems work reliably in sand, water, water fog and in frost, at -50 ° C, ”says Tarasov.
“We have modernized every node”
From small arms, in addition to the Lebedev pistol, Kalashnikov presented an assault rifle at IDEX-2021 AK-19 under the so-called NATO caliber 5.56 x 45 mm. The mass of the weapon is just over 3.3 kg. It is equipped with a lightweight telescopic stock, a new diopter sight and a quick-release device for silent and flameless shooting.
“This assault rifle differs from the samples of our hundredth and two hundredth series by its convenient butt, pistol grip, Picatinny rail, sight, hanging barrel, and flame arrester. That is, we have modernized each unit, keeping the reliability traditional for AK, “Tarasov explained.
For civilian consumers, Kalashnikov offers the MP-155 Ultima smart gun, created on the basis of the MP-155 semi-automatic smooth-bore hunting predecessor in 12 mm caliber.
© Kalashnikov Group of Companies
The weapon is equipped with a computer, a camera with the ability to record and broadcast video in Full HD format, a digital display, a compass, a stopwatch, a timer, a shot counter, and an indicator of the remaining cartridges. The external elements of the smart gun are made of high-strength B95T alloy and polymers.
“This is not an ordinary product for us. This is a transition to a new segment. Ultima is designed for people who were not initially fond of weapons, but are iPhone users. Although at the exhibition, interest was shown in our gun from the outside and security agencies. I think the product attracts by the fact that it allows you to record video and train, ”- said Tarasov.
Another novelty of Kalashnikov at IDEX-2021 was the MRS modular unloading system for special forces. The complex was developed by a division of the concern called “Group 99”.
MRS is a combat equipment that a soldier can form for specific tasks – operational, reconnaissance, assault. The product is already being used by Russian troops both during counter-terrorism operations within the country and during missions abroad.
The peculiarity of the MRS is the ability to regulate the position of the armor protection elements, reducing the area of vulnerable areas of the body while maintaining a high degree of mobility in various climatic conditions. The equipment corresponds to four classes of protection – C2, Br1, Br3, Br5.
“Depending on the task, a soldier can facilitate the system or, conversely, enhance security by covering his neck, shoulders, groin. The special forces have very good reviews about our product, and we hope that we will find buyers abroad as well, ”Tarasov said.
The modernized anti-aircraft guided missile debuted in Abu Dhabi from the ammunition produced by the Kalashnikov “Arrow 9M333” air defense complex “Strela-10M4” (“Strela-10MN”). Last year, the concern completed its full-scale tests for the Russian army and is now offering it to foreign consumers.
The ammunition is designed to destroy low-flying objects at a distance of up to 5 km. The designers have implemented the principle of “fire and forget” in the rocket, which allows the combat crew to change position after launch, thus avoiding the enemy’s return fire.
An important advantage of “Strela 9M333”, from the point of view of “Kalashnikov”, consists in three modes of operation of the seeker: photocontrast, infrared and jamming. Thanks to this technology, it was possible to increase the effectiveness of hitting the target.
“At one time, many launchers for this missile were sold to the Middle East. It has a completely new element base. True, in the near future we plan to modernize it in order to reduce the cost of production, “Tarasov stressed.
Of the unmanned vehicles, which the concern also specializes in, the ZALA VTOL tiltrotor is presented at IDEX-2021. Depending on the configuration, the device can be used for monitoring, reconnaissance and search and rescue operations.
With the help of a unique ZX1 on-board computer based on artificial intelligence, ZALA VTOL is able to process data in Full HD format and transmit video files and photos over encrypted communication channels. In addition, the UAV has the ability to change its configuration depending on the conditions of the task being performed.
According to Tarasov, the Middle East is a significant market for the concern. Kalashnikov’s products are popular in the countries of the region. In this regard, the head of the company expects to conclude new agreements with foreign partners.
“Trends of the world market”
In an interview with RT, military observer, retired colonel Viktor Baranets noted that in recent years Kalashnikov has significantly expanded the range of weapons for the Russian army and Moscow’s partners in military-technical cooperation.
“The concern is well aware of the need to go beyond the usual military-industrial needs, to create new unusual designs that may be ahead of their time. I think that the Kalashnikov designers are good at capturing the trends of the world market, ”says Baranets.
According to the expert, the concern’s activities are aimed at diversifying military products and developing samples for civilian consumers, which allows increasing sales, improving the design school and strengthening production potential.
“I also like that Kalashnikov’s specialists carefully study the products of laboratories, research institutes and design bureaus in the world’s leading countries, and absorb the latest ideas and trends. As a result, we see high-quality military and civilian products, ”Baranets explained.
A similar point of view is shared by the fire training teacher, reserve officer Vladimir Kurta. In a commentary to RT, he said that in a short time the concern mastered the manufacture of modern missiles, automotive equipment, motorcycles, equipment, body armor, which were tested in real combat conditions.
Kalashnikov is now a whole system of enterprises manufacturing products for various purposes. Nevertheless, the company is still associated with modern, reliable machines. In this area, the position of “Kalashnikov” is strong, and, most likely, new models of automatic weapons will be exported, like other products, “concluded Kurta.
Author: Anna Knishenko, Alexey Zakvasin, Elizaveta Komarova