Infantry Weapons

Army 2018: Kalashnikov unveils latest AK assault rifle

24 August 2018

The latest, modified iteration of the 1P87 reflex sight can be seen mounted on the AK-308 on display at Army 2018. Source: IHS Markit/Jayesh Dhingra

On 21 August, the first day of the Army 2018 defence show being held in Kubinka near Moscow until 26 August, a new Kalashnikov assault rifle chambered for the 7.62×51 mm NATO round was unveiled to the public. This most recent addition to the latest generation of the Kalashnikov family of rifles has been designated as the AK-308.

The military 7.62×51 mm round has been derived from the commercial .308 cartridge for .308 Winchester chambered AK-pattern semi-automatic rifles of the Saiga series, designated as the Saiga-308, which have been available on the civilian market for over a decade.

On 20 August, the eve of the AK-308’s official launch at Army-2018, the Kalashnikov Concern website showed a promotional video accompanied by an article on the AK-308. The AK-308 rifle featured in the video was of the AK-200 series pattern which was most likely an earlier prototype. The AK-200 series was originally designated as the AK-100M series until earlier in 2018, when it was rebranded.

The AK-308 prototype unveiled at Army 2018 is of the latest AK-12/15 family pattern, with a number of distinct features related to the heavier and more powerful 7.62×51 mm NATO cartridge it is chambered for. Unlike the AK-12 and AK-15 assault rifles, chambered for 5.45×39 mm and 7.62×39 mm rounds, respectively, the front portion of the AK-308’s receiver was modified to accommodate the heavier front barrel trunnion as per Kalashnikov’s RPK, RPK-74, and RPK-16 light machine gun series. Furthermore, the exhibited AK-308 prototype had a distinctive combined compensator and flash-hider attached to its muzzle.

Want to read more? For analysis on this article and access to all our insight content, please enquire about our subscription options at

(281 of 489 words)