The Kord-5.45 Light Machine Gun has a somewhat obscure history and an equally obscure present.
Its development can be traced to 2011, when the Russian MVD (Internal Affairs Ministry) issued requirements for a ‘5.45mm assault machine gun’, intended for use by SWAT type units engaged in counter-terrorism operations. This research and development program was codenamed “Tokar” (Токарь, “lathe machine operator”). The requirements included belt feed, dual rates of fire (~600 and ~900 rounds per minute), as well as quick change barrels and an empty weight maximum of 6.5 kg.
The contract for development of the Tokar machine gun was issued to the Degtyarov factory ZiD in the city of Kovrov. First prototypes were ready by 2013, but then the entire program quietly disappeared from the news. However, in 2016 MVD issued new requirements for a 5.45mm machine gun, codenamed “Tokar 2”. Those requirements dropped selective rates of fire but added a dual feed option (magazines and belts, like the FN Minimi). The maximum empty weight was also adjusted to 7 kg. The sole contractor for this program was again the Degtyarov plant, and by 2017 they presented the new Kord-5.45 light machine gun.
It was promoted at many events until about 2019, when this program again fell out of focus. Today (mid-2020) there still is no information about the fate of the Kord-5.45 machine gun. Apparently, the Russian military is not interested in a 5.45mm machine gun which is as physically heavy as the much more powerful 7.62mm PKM machine gun (about 7.5 kg empty). Russian law enforcement (MVD and Rosgvardia) is torn between several options, including the much lighter Kalashnikov RPK-16 and the newest Kalashikov RPL-20 machine guns.
The Kord-5.45 Light Machine Gun is a gas operated weapon. The gas piston is located above the barrel and operates a long stroke. This gun uses rotating bolt locking, and fires from an open bolt, in full automatic mode only. Barrels are quickly inter-changeable, and available in several profiles and lengths.
The Kord-5.45 uses a dual feed system. Magazine housing is located below the receiver and can accept any AK-74-compatible magazines, including 30- and 45-round double stack and 60-round quad stack. Belt feed unit is located at the top of the receiver, under the long cover which can be opened up and forward for quick loading and unloading of belts.
Under normal circumstances the belt is fed from a detachable container which can be attached to the gun using a magazine catch below the receiver. The gun is fitted with iron sights and has a set of Picatinny rails for the use of modern optical sighting equipment and other accessories. Standard furniture includes a folding bipod and a side-folding shoulder stock with adjustable cheek rest.
|Full text name||Kord-5.45 / Tokar 2 Light Machine Gun (Russia)|
|Caliber cartridge||5.45x39 7N6 7N10 7N22 7N24|
|Weight empty, kg||7.5|
|Magazine capacity, rounds||30, 45, 60, 100|
|Cyclic rate of fire, rounds/min||600|