Testing complete on AK-12 and AK-15 assault rifles with new ‘Ratnik’ combat system

The Ratnik infantry combat system will carry the Russian armed forces into the 21st century

(Sputnik) – Spokeswoman of Russia’s Kalashnikov defense manufacturing concern told Sputnik on Thursday Kalashnikov has finished testing its advanced AK-12 and AK-15 assault rifles for the needs of the next-generation of Ratnik infantry gear.

The Russian Defense Ministry is currently in the process of choosing weapons for the Ratnik system. Apart from the AK-12 and AK-15, the ministry considers the AEK-971 assault rifle, designed by Russia’s V. A. Degtyarev Plant, as Ratnik’s main assault rifle.

“The tests of the new assault rifles for the Ratnik combat kits have been finished. Their results will be announced in the near future,” Sofiya Ivanova said.

Ratnik is an infantry combat system, developed as a “future soldier” concept, and includes dozens of pieces of equipment, comprising firearms, body armor, optical, communication and navigation devices, as well as life support and power supply systems.

Oleg Faustov of the TsNIITOCHMASH research center in the Moscow Region which develops the Ratnik system said that “in a combined-arms configuration, the Ratnik’s body armor protects a soldier’s chest and back from bullets with a steel core fired at a range of 10 meters from a 7.62mm SVD rifle.”

During field tests of the Ratnik-2 infantry combat system, Viktoria Kolesnikova, an employee of TsNIITOCHMASH, managed to overcome a minefield without being damaged by a number of explosions.

The Russian army will be fully equipped with Ratnik-2 infantry gear by 2020, Russia’s Central Research Institute of Precision Machine Building told Sputnik.

​Russian engineers are now working on a third-generation of the Ratnik combat outfit (Ratnik-3), which will boast a helmet with an integrated control system, a combat exoskeleton, mine-resistant boots and other elements.

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