Russia's Kalashnikov Group (a subsidiary of the Rostec state corporation) unveiled its new RPK-16 light machine gun (LMG) at the Army 2016 defence show held outside Moscow from 6-11 September.
Intended to replace the ageing RPK-74 light support weapon, a company official told IHS Jane's at the exhibition that the "RPK-16 is chambered for M74 5.45x39mm cartridge, as well as its predecessor. The new LMG can fire 7N6, 7N10, 7T3, and 7T3M munitions. The firearm has a combat weight of 6 kg, a full length of 1,076 mm, a barrel length of 370 mm [short barrel] or 550 mm [long barrel], a maximum firing range of 800 m, and a magazine capacity of 30 or 96 rounds. It features traditional Kalashnikov long-stroke piston gas-operating scheme, interchangeable barrels, a Picatinny rail for optical/red dot scopes on the top of the receiver, an ergonomic pistol grip, and a folding stock. The bipod of RPK-74 is replaced by a Picatinny rail. RPK-16 can be complemented by a supressor".
According to him, Russia's military and the National Guard (Rosgvardiya) have already shown their interest in the new LMG. "The Ministry of Defence and the Ministry of Internal Affairs (MVD) have initiated the Tokar-2 (Turner II) programme to replace ageing Kalashnikov RPK and RPK-74 fire support weapons. RPK-16 seems to be the most appropriate contender for the programme," the representative added.
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