While the US military sometimes appears to stumble over itself in an attempt to find a upgrade or replacement for the M16 family of rifles, it appears that the Russian armed forces are experiencing some of the same growing pains in attempting to evolve past current platforms and designs. While the AK-47 has been upgraded over the years, to the AKM and the AK-74 it seems that the AN-94 design hasn’t really gone anywhere, somewhat analogous to American experiences with the OICW, XM8, and now the SCAR which I’m told is being dumped by SOCOM forces across the board.
Meanwhile, the Russian Izhmash company is working on a modernized replacement for the Kalashnikov series of rifles. The Voice of Russia reports that millions of AK’s are still sitting in warehouses, left over from the Soviet era and the Russian Federation simply is not purchasing any more. Izhmash hopes to have a functioning prototype to present to the Russian military by the end of the year: