Russian Spetsnaz will receive a new improved Kalashnikov light machine gun

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MOSCOW, (BM) – In 2020, the some Russian forces, including Spetsnaz will be able to get a new effective weapon – RPK-16. This advanced model of the Kalashnikov light machine gun is already being tested, learned

Read more: A hypersonic bullet for an army sniper rifle is being developed in Russia

The machine gun is similar in design to its predecessor, the old RPK-74, but the developers significantly improved its ergonomic characteristics.

Improved ergonomics, minimal weight, high accuracy and combat effectiveness – for the Russian army this year they will begin to create a new machine gun.

One of the latest developments – RPK-16 – is being tested. However, the military revealed a number of design flaws, and this will be taken into account.

Three in one

RPK-16 was first presented at the Army forum in 2017. In design, it is in many ways similar to the already quite old RPK-74 machine gun. However, after deep modernization, the ergonomic characteristics have greatly improved.

In particular, the “sixteenth” received a convenient pistol grip with subdigital recesses and a built-in pencil case with accessories for cleaning weapons.

The translator of the fire mode now has a bar under the index finger, and a folding telescopic butt allows the shooter to perfectly adjust the machine gun for himself.

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The caliber remained the same – 5.45 x 39 millimeters. One of the innovations is the drum store. This eliminates the serious drawback of the predecessor – the lack of ammunition when firing in long bursts.

The standard RPK-74 magazine holds 45 rounds, the “drum” – 96. According to experts, this is enough for a dense barrage on the battlefield.

Weight is only 4.5 kilograms. The same, for example, the AK-12 assault rifle in a similar body kit. That is, a machine gun can easily be used as a regular assault rifle, shooting with hands. This was not achieved by any arms manufacturer in the world.

“RPK-74 had two significant drawbacks, although otherwise it proved itself to be excellent,” explains Andrei Kirisenko, world champion in practical shooting, who helped develop RPK-16.

“The store’s capacity was not enough, and because of the bulky weapons, it was difficult for soldiers to they could be dropped, for example, from BMP. In RPK-16, the barrel length was reduced, the butt was made telescopic. It’s convenient to pick up a machine gun and use it even as a simple machine gun.” Kirisenko also said.

A unique feature of the RPK-16 is the single-shot mode of fire. When installing an optical sight, the machine gun turns into a sniper rifle. The accuracy in this case, according to experts, is comparable to the accuracy of SVD – PKK surely hits targets at a distance of up to five hundred meters.

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One of the problems of the RPK-74 was the inability to quickly replace the barrel. In RPK-16, this was taken into account. For combat in urban conditions, an assault barrel of 410 millimeters long was provided, and for combined-arms operations – 550 millimeters long.

Incremental evolution

Today, the most common light machine gun in the Russian army and other law enforcement agencies is RPK-74. It was adopted in the mid-1970s.

It has been successfully used in many conflicts and rightfully earned a reputation as a reliable, accurate and unpretentious weapon. RPK automation was almost perfected, and that is why the gunsmiths decided not to reinvent the wheel, but to take as a basis the design, proven by business and time.

Specialists interviewed by RIA Novosti believe that the new generation of machine guns, apparently, will also inherit the main components of the RPK-74.

“RPK-16 was operated in an extremely limited way,” says Mikhail Degtyarev, editor-in-chief of Kalashnikov magazine. “Everything that happens to him now is a completely natural way of weapons, which theoretically in the future, according to the results of tests and competitions, can be taken into service with the army.”

Read more: Russia’s newest assault rifle goes into series production to face AK-74 legend

RPK-16 passed complex tests for several years. Weapons were tested in all climatic zones. Based on the results of the pilot operation, the military formulated a number of comments and put forward proposals that are being implemented in a promising machine gun.

“The trends are such that they try to reduce weight and dimensions in weapons, increase accuracy, and improve ergonomic characteristics,” adds Kirisenko. “There are a lot of nuances in military tests. Probably, the military asked to make the butt more comfortable, to carry out the fuse differently, something else This is what is called tuning. The basis of the machine gun will not change.”

Combat use

Light machine guns are powerful and effective small arms that do not lose their relevance even today, when there are high-precision assault and sniper rifles.

Hundreds of models and modifications of this type of gunnery were produced in the world. Practice has shown that in numerous small and large armed conflicts light machine guns often played a decisive role on the battlefield.

The machine gunner, a former Alpha special forces soldier, Alexei Filatov, shared with RIA Novosti the experience of operating such weapons in real combat conditions, noting that the RPK-74 special forces preferred a heavier Kalashnikov machine gun (PC).

“Now, of course, they’ve modernized it. First of all, the butt was made shock-absorbing, which allows for more accurate shooting. The PC had its own drawbacks. For example, when firing, there were frequent plugs. Another minus was that after two hundred shots, it’s necessary to change the barrel for heating” the veteran says.

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Otherwise, the machine gun starts to “spit” – the bullet flies in the wrong direction, you can’t even get into the growth figure from two hundred meters. Replacement is a short procedure. But you always have to carry a spare barrel with you, which does not facilitate mobility. in an intense battle, the interchangeable barrel will not even have time to cool.” Filatov noted

As for the branded “chip” of machine guns – long, long lines, then, as a rule, in this mode, machine gunners work extremely rarely, preferring to beat short.

Long shooting is mainly used for psychological impact on the enemy. And there are practically no situations where dozens of enemy soldiers or terrorists go to full-fledged positions at once, today there are practically no.

“I watched the shooting in long bursts, for example, in Budyonnovsk, where terrorists seized the hospital,” the commando recalls. “Then our wounded officer lay on the battlefield for three and a half hours. We only evacuated him to the APC from the third attempt. But before to approach him so that the terrorists would not have the opportunity to pop out with a grenade launcher and set fire to another armored vehicle, we gave massive machine-gun fire on the walls. “

In addition, special forces fighters prefer the caliber of 7.62. Although 5.45 mm ammunition is lighter, the bullet is unstable in the air, and a small obstacle, such as tree branches in the forest, can dramatically change the flight path.

Read more: Dogfight! A-545 vs. AK-12 – which Kalashnikov assault rifle is better?


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