Kalashnikov AK-12 and AK-15 assault rifle

Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle, early prtotype as shown in 2013


Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle, prtotype that participated in “Ratnik” trials, photo taken in June, 2015.
Shown here with belorussian-made Red Dot (collimating) sight


5.45mm Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle, 2016 version
photo: “Kalashnikov” Concern

5.45mm Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle, 2016 version
photo: “Kalashnikov” Concern

7.62mm Kalashnikov AK-15 assault rifle with tactical sound suppressor (silencer)


7.62mm AK-15K compact assault rifle
7.62mm AK-15K compact assault rifle








Gas operated

Length, mm

862-922 (688 with stock folded)

Barrel length, mm


Weight, kg



Rate of fire, rounds/minute


Magazine capacity, rounds



The 5.45mm Kalashnikov AK-12 assault rifle (GRAU index 6P70 / 6П70) is a perspective weapon which is eventually intended to replace previous generations of 5.45mm Kalashnikov assault rifles (AK74, AK74M) in service with Russian and other governmental forces. AK-12 project was commenced in 2011 by IZHMASH factory (now part of the “Kalashnikov” concern) as a private venture, in an attempt to participate in the “Ratnik” trials which were held by Russian army. The goal of the “Ratnik” trials is to select a new combat kit for Russian Special forces, which, besides other items, shall include 7.62mm and 5.45mm assault rifles of modern design and increased effectiveness.

During these years, AK-12 rifle went through several modifications. The latest one, shown above, was first displayed to the general public during Russian Army-2016 expo in September, 2016. This version, which is noticeably different from the previous one, shown in 2015, has successfully completed state technical trialsfield trials with Russian army during the 2016-2017. Compared to the previous version, 2016-style AK-12 is said to be more reliable, more accurate and better suited to latest military requirements. Its version chambered for 7.62×39 M43 cartridge, received its own designation of 7.62mm Kalashnikov AK-15 assault rifle (GRAU index 6P71 / 6П71).

In January 2018 it was officially annouced that Russian Ministry of Defense officially approved AK-12 and Ak-15 rifles for fielding and issue to front-line units of Army Infantry, Airborne troops (VDV) and Naval Infantry.

Kalashnikov concern also offers compact versions of both rifles, known as AK-12K and AK-15K. Those weapons are well suited for CQB use by Special Forces or as Personal Defense Weapons for vehicle and heavy armament crews.

Kalashnikov AK-12 and AK-15 assault rifles have traditional Kalashnikov-type gas operated action with rotary bolt locking, and use magazines compatible with previous generations of 5.45mm AK74 ot 7.62mm AKM and AK103 rifles respectively. In all other respects those rifles are similar. The receiver, gas block, gas tube and barrel are redesigned to achieve better accuracy under all conditions. Gas tube is permanently attached to the receiver and has a removable plug at the front for inspection and maintenance. Forend is attached to the gas tube and front of the receiver, forming stable and rigid platform for acessories and protecting the barrel from external stresses and bending, because barrel does not touching the forend.
Trigger and safety / fire selector unit is redesigned to provide three modes of fire, including single shots, 2-round bursts and full automatic fire, and familiar Kalashnikov-style safety/selector switch is provided by an “index finger pad” to ensure faster and more convenient operation.

AK-12 rifle is equipped with integrated Picatinny rail on the top of the redesigned, detachable top cover, which permits simple and fast installation of modern day and night sighting equipment. Top cover is attached to the receiver using captive cross-pin at the front, and has a spring-loaded element at the rear to provide stable platform with literally zero play or wobble. Bottom of the forend is also equipped with Picatinny rail for various tactical accessories such as vertical grips, flashlights and lasers. Rifle is equipped with side-folding shoulder stock which is adjustable for length of pull. Iron sights consist of a shrouded front post, mounted on the gas block, and an adjustable rear aperture sight, installed on the removable base using upper Picatinny rail. Barrel is provided with effective removable compensator / muzzle brake. Depending on the tactical situation, a bayonet or quick detachable sound suppressor can be mounted on the barrel. To further increase combat effectiveness of the rifle, it can be equipped with 40mm underballer grenade launcher such as GP-25 or GP-34. Cleaning kit is stored inside a container at the base of pistol grip, and a three-piece cleaning rod is stored inside shoulder stock tube.

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