The Kalashnikov AK-200 is the newest production derivative of the Soviet/Russian AK-47 series of assault rifles and is proposed for general issue to Russia’s armed forces.
On May 25, 2010, Russia’s general news media published a Russian Defence Ministry statement that the AK-200 rifle was to be tested in 2011. The AK-200 rifle demonstration model was presented to Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin during his official visit to inspect the products of the historic Izhmash arms manufacturing plant in Izhevsk.
The rifle demonstrated to Prime Minister Putin was apparently a basic AK-74M in standard 5.45×39mm calibre, with some evidence of external modifications, most of which are consistent with the modifications favoured by Russia’s specialist, professional military units: Picatinny rails—allowing the attachment of modular accessories, including: advanced optical sight combinations; laser illuminators; flashlights; vertical foregrips; bipods and grenade launchers. An improved, adjustable telescoping buttstock is also fitted.
Other forms of modularity in the AK-200 system are likely to include interchangeable barrel lengths and calibers (5.45×39mm; 5.56mm NATO and 7.62×39mm). The traditional locations of cocking handle, safety lever and fire selector remain unchanged. The Izhmash AK-200 demonstrator was fitted with the large capacity 60 round casket magazine that has had mixed reception due to alleged reliability issues.