RUSSIA BEGINS TRIALS OF AK-12 RIFLE
The Russian central arms testing body has started state testing of Izhmash’s newly developed AK-12 assault rifle, which is an upgraded variant of the Russian Army’s Soviet-era AK-74 Kalashnikov series. Trials will validate the rifle’s effectiveness after exposure to freezing temperatures, desert heat, humidity, as well as dust and other environmental impacts, according to RIA Novosti. Izhmash Chief Designer Vladimir Zlobin said that testing would start in early 2013 and be complete by July the same year; he went on to claim that the Russian Armed Forces and certain foreign customers have also shown interest in acquiring the weapon. Serial production of the rifle is scheduled to begin by the end of 2013.