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AK-47 To Be Upgraded

IZHEVSK, Russia, Feb. 28 (UPI) — Russia’s AK-47, the world’s most popular assault rifle, is to receive an upgrade.

The Russian Federation’s Izhmash Machine Building Plant factory in Udmurtia, which manufactures the AK-47, announced that the new version, designated the AK-12 is under development, The Guardian newspaper reported Tuesday.

Among the changes, the AK-12 can be operated with one hand. The designers also decided to install safety switches on both sides of the rifle rather than on the just right-hand side.

“One of the features that is specific to the new Kalashnikov rifle is its modular nature,” said Izhmash spokeswoman Elena Filatova. “It is designed as a base model which can serve as a basis for making about 20 different modifications of weapons which could be used for both civil and military purposes and with different caliber bullets.”

The AK-12 automatic rifle will undergo formal tests toward the end of the year.

The AK-47 was introduced into the Soviet army in 1947. Since then more than 75 million AK-47s have been manufactured.

UPI - United Press International, Inc.

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