AK-12, formerly known as AK-200, is the latest derivative of the AK-pattern series of assault rifles. It was passed over the Russian military in September, 2013 and was officially unveiled in December, 2014 when it was indicated that it has passed state tests. Currently, AK-12 is being evaluated by the Russian Army together with its competitor, the A-545.
AK-12 shares the gas-operated, long-stroke piston system by the classified Kalashnikov rifles, though several features are rendered quite different from its other gun siblings. The light-weight version can change calibers by swapping barrels; while the standard caliber (5.45x39mm) can then be changed to either 7.62x39mm or 5.56x45mm. The heavy variant can fire the larger 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge. Meanwhile, the 7.62 Soviet-chambered variant completely works with AKM/RPK 30-round and 40-round magazines as well as the 75-round drums. Magazines which can work specifically for the AK-12 are still under development and they include the 30-round magazine with bolt-catch actuator, a 60-round four-stack magazine, and a 95-round drum.
Different accessories can be railed on AK-12 on both of its sides, bottom of the handguard, atop the handguard, and on top of the gas block. The lug under the gas chamber can accommodate a GP-34 grenade launcher while the one under the front-sight holder can mount a bayonet.
AK-12 also sports an ambidextrous fire selector that has four positions—safe, semiautomatic, 3-round burst fire, and the fully automatic fire. The last one can fire 600 rounds per minute and on burst, it can reach 1,000 rounds per minute.
AK-12 variants which are still under development:
- PPK-12 (submachine gun)
- AKU-12 (short barrel carbine)
- RPK-12 (squad automatic weapon in 7.62x39mm)
- SVD-12 (marksman rifle in 7.62X51mm NATO)
- AK-12/76 (12-gauge shotgun)