KBM unveils decoy-resistant Verba MANPADS


Key Points

  • New multispectral seeker enables clearer, faster discrimination between targets and decoys
  • Enhancements extend the missile’s engagement envelope by a factor of 2.5

Russia’s Konstruktorskoye Byuro Mashinostroyeniya (KBM) unveiled its next-generation 9K333 Verba (Willow) man-portable air defence system (MANPADS) at the Army-2015 International Military-Technical Forum in Kubinka.

KBM designer General Valeriy Mikhaylovics Kashin said the Verba system significantly improves upon the accuracy and performance of the earlier 9K338 Igla-S (SA-24/Grouse) MANPADS, primarily through the integration of a new multispectral optical seeker, which uses three sensors – ultraviolet, near-infrared, and mid-infrared – as opposed to the dual-waveband infrared used in the Igla-S system. Kashin said the multispectral sensor enables faster discrimination between appropriate targets and decoys, and decreases the chance of disruption from infrared countermeasures, including high-power flares and lasers.

The Verba’s kinematic kill range remains practically the same as the Igla-S (slant range up to 6,000 m (19,680 ft) and altitudes of up to 3,500 m) but KBM said the engagement envelope has been extended by a factor of 2.5, and protection from high-power flares improved by a factor of 10. The company says that these improvements optimise the use of the missile’s energy consumption with lower quantities of missiles now required to defeat an aerial target and deliver a general increase in performance by a factor of 1.5 to 2.


Kalashnikov showcases new pistol


“The universality of the pistol means it can be used not only as a combat weapon for the army and police but also as a sports pistol for various class competitions,” said Aleksey Krivoruchko, CEO of the Kalashnikov Concern. “For the pistol’s different uses with aiming elements, we intend to produce variants with altered firing-mechanism characteristics and to make modifications that will allow it to be used in sports competitions.”

The pistol is uniquely less thick than its counterparts in the same class; 28 mm around the handle and 21 mm at the front nozzle. The polymer-framed double-stack PL-14 pistol and its configuration makes it possible to use the pistol with either the right or left hand, and  makes it easy to wear, draw, and use. A Picatinny rail has been integrated into the pistol’s design.

Commercial production of Russia’s new AK-12 and A-545 assault rifles to start in February


Commercial production of Russia’s new Kalashnikov (AK-12) and Degtyarev (A-545) assault rifles will be launched in February so that the Defense Ministry could choose weapons for the new “soldier of the future” gear upon the results of tests expected to be completed by late 2015, the Izvestia daily reported on Wednesday.

State trials of assault rifles AK-12 and A-545 were completed in January, the daily recalled. The defense agency tested several blueprints of each assault rifle and found that both submachine guns meet all requirements of the Defense Ministry. Degtyarev armoury has already rectified all flaws found at A-545 state trials and is ready for commercial production, sources in the defense and industrial sector told the daily. Kalashnikov weapons producer is about to complete similar work for AK-12.

Russia, U.S. compete for weapons markets in India, Africa


Russian President Vladimir Putin has vowed to expand Russia’s presence in the weapons markets of Asia and Latin America. Last year, Putin announced at a meeting of the Commission for Military Technology Cooperation with Foreign States that Russia had sold more than $15 billion worth of weapons. He also added that the main competitive advantage of Russia in this area is the country’s reputation as a reliable partner.

“Russian arms and military equipment are still some of the most sought after in the world. Of course, our work on the active promotion of Russian military products in foreign markets also played a significant role in this,” he said. ”In addition to improving the regulatory framework in this sector, we also systematically developed new weapons markets. First of all, these are in Latin America, Southeast Asia, where we are intensifying our work with traditional and emerging partners,” added Putin.

Russia selects new assault rifles


The Russian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has selected two assault rifles manufactured by Kalashnikov Concern as new standard issue firearms for the Russian Ratnik soldier modernisation programme.

“We have already made a deal and selected assault rifles from Izhmash. It won in cost to effectiveness terms. The quality is also acceptable for us,” Deputy Minister of Defence Yuriy Borisov stated on Russian radio on 24 January.

Borisov stated that two assault rifles manufactured by Kalashnikov Concern were selected by the Armed Forces: the AK-12, chambered in 5.45×39 mm, and the 7.62×39 mm AK-103-4.

“We also increase the number of ordered Ratnik systems from 50,000 to 70,000”, Borisov added.

According to Borisov, the AK-12 is quite similar to its predecessor, the AK-74M, and has some common parts. The Russian army is expecting the price of the AK-12 will be 25% more than the AK-74M.

Russian airborne troops received more than 400 pieces of new and upgraded equipment


Airborne Troops of Russia received more than 400 new and upgraded units of various equipment and weapons during the outgoing year , the representative of the press service and information to the Defense Ministry, Lieutenant Colonel Eugene Meshkov told reporters on Tuesday.

“In 2014, Airborne Troops received more than 200 units of upgraded  airborne  fighting vehicles of the second generation and more than 10 armored tracked vehicles. These combat vehicles have not only  upgraded means of communication and control, but also the stabilizer of arms,”  Meshkov said.

More chances for Kalashnikov assault rifle to be integrated in Ratnik combat gear


The Kalashnikov assault rifle has more chances to be brought into service in Russian army as part of combat gear Ratnik than its rivalling submachine gun model AEK-971, deputy chairman of the Military-Industrial Commission board Oleg Bochkarev said Friday.

“State trials of the Ratnik combat gear are finalised. As for these two assault rifles AK-12 and AEK-971, Kalashnikov certainly has more chances. It is easier to handle, has fewer parts, but they are close in their features,” Bochkarev said. He added that AEK-971 was produced at Degtyarev Kovrov electromechanical plant.

Fighting module “Bakhcha” – new firepower of Assault Forces


Combat tests of airmobile maneuver BMD-4M equipped with fighting module “Bakhcha” ended. Its fire power is higher than those of the Russian predecessors and still have their foreign counterparts. The following year, Airborne will offer first batch of 64 new machines. What is the unique about the combat unit “Bakhcha”?

BMD is important for the ability to hit targets at a distance and beat the first. Therefore, Tula Instrument Design Bureau, part of the holding “Visokotochnie kompleksi”, developed a special, fully automatic weapon station, which was named “Bakhcha”. The mobile unit can be placed on different types of chassis BMP-2, BMP-3, BMD-3, BTR “Rostok” and other similar Russian and foreign media.

Kalashnikov looks to Asia to combat sanctions

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Russia’s Kalashnikov Concern has outlined an intention to boost its presence in Asia to alleviate the impact of sanctions imposed on the company by the United States.

A 28 November statement by Russian Technologies (Rostec), the holding group for Russia’s defence industry, said Kalashnikov had signed agreements with unidentified customers in Thailand and Malaysia related to the sale of civilian products.

Kalashnikov said that the new agreements have enabled the company to “neutralise the negative impact” of US sanctions on the company, which were imposed in July in response to Russia’s annexation of Crimea.

“This year Kalashnikov Concern continues to actively explore new and promising markets,” Alexei Krivoruchko, Kalashnikov’s chief executive, said.

Last test of Russia’s new Yars-based ballistic missile due in December


The last test launch of the solid propellant inter-continental ballistic missile RS-26 (also known as Avangard and Rubezh), created on the basis of the RS-24 Yars missile, has been scheduled for December, a source in the defence-industrial complex told TASS.

“The testing is not over yet. According to the current plans the new missile is to enter duty in 2015. In December, there will be the final launch to be followed by a decision in favour of serial manufacturing,” the source said.

RS-26 has improved combat capabilities and a multiple warheads. The missile is to be lighter than its predecessor RS-24 Yars.

Strategic Missile Force commander, Colonel Sergey Karakayev said the missile will be launched from a mobile surface vehicle. There are no plans for its silo deployment.