Gun­ning for dirhams and dol­lars

The National - News - The Review - - Timeframe -

The some­what worn-look­ing gen­tle­man grip­ping the gun in this pho­to­graph, taken at the In­ter­na­tional De­fence Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­fer­ence in Abu Dhabi in 1999, is ac­tu­ally A-list arms roy­alty.

Vic­tor Kalash­nikov, who de­signed the Bi­zon sub­ma­chine gun that he’s show­ing here, is the son of Mikhail Kalash­nikov, the Rus­sian lieu­tenant gen­eral who fa­mously in­vented the ubiq­ui­tous AK-47 as­sault ri­fle.

Kalash­nikov se­nior died at the age of 94 in 2013, but the Kalash­nikov brand is still go­ing strong and ex­hibit­ing at a much slicker stand at this week’s arms fair. The Na­tional re­ported that the UAE is be­ing con­sid­ered as a po­ten­tial new home for man­u­fac­tur­ing the fa­mous ri­fle that was first made in Moscow in 1947.

Mean­while, thou­sands of kilo­me­tres away, gun-lovers are look­ing for­ward to the open­ing of a Kalash­nikov USA fac­tory in Florida. Amer­i­can col­lec­tors are keen to get their hands on the prized brand; a US ban on im­ports im­posed af­ter Rus­sia’s an­nex­a­tion of Crimea has only in­creased its draw.

Clare Dight

Time Frame is a se­ries that opens a win­dow into the na­tion’s past. Read­ers are in­vited to make con­tri­bu­tions to yourpics@then­

Rabih Moghrabi / AFP

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