Azerbaijan to produce Soviet-designed AK-74 rifle this year

Source:Xinhua Published: 2012-6-30 9:54:19

Azerbaijan will begin to produce Soviet-designed Kalashnikov AKS-74U assault rifle by the end of 2012, Azeri Minister of Defense Industry Yaver Jamalov told press here on Friday.

Commenting on Azerbaijan's alleged replacing AK-74, a refined version of the AK-47, with widely advertised Israeli assault rifle Tavor, Jamalov said that Azerbaijan doesn't intend to abandon the usage of Kalashnikov assault rifle and will produce it by the year end.

Additionally, the minister said that for now the country have produced 665 types of products and this figure will increase to 700 by the end of the year.

"We have new projects, mainly related to the production of large-caliber ammunition, tanks, artillery and relevant ammunition for helicopters," he said.

The AK-74 is a 5.45 mm assault rifle developed in the early 1970s in the Soviet Union. The rifle first saw service with Soviet forces engaged in the Afghanistan conflict. Presently, the rifle continues to be used by the majority of countries of the former US. Unlicensed copies were produced in many countries of the world, like Bulgaria, the former East Germany and Romania.

AKS-74U is a shortened carbine variant of the AK-74 equipped with a side-folding metal shoulder stock. It was intended for use mainly with special forces, airborne infantry, rear-echelon support units and armored vehicle crews.

Posted in: Asia-Pacific

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