Russia abandons orders of Kalashnikov AK-74

CHEBARKUL: Russia has abandoned new purchases of its popular AK-74 automatic rifle its top general said on Tuesday, dismantling another symbol of Soviet military might as the army pushes through painful reforms.

Russia plans on spending some 20 trillion roubles ($617 billion) by 2020 in order to modernise its armed forces, refurbishing its armaments with new guns and rockets, submarines and aircraft.Based on the more prevalent AK-47, the AK-74 was used by servicemen in the Soviet Union’s decade-long war in Afghanistan, which killed 15,000 Soviet troops fighting mujahideen insurgents before Moscow’s dispirited exit in 1989.

The AK-74, designed in the early 1970s by Mikhail Kalashnikov, is still in use in Russia and many other former Soviet countries.”We are designing new firearms, and we currently have 10 million Kalashnikovs for our army of one million servicemen,” said General Nikolai Makarov, chief of the armed forces general staff. “So the reserves we have will be more or less enough,” he told.