The U.S. Army suddenly purchased Russian-style AK-74 assault rifles everywhere, but refused to say what it wanted to do

The U.S. Army recently stated publicly that it would be interested in acquiring any privately owned Russian-made 5.45mm AK-74 assault rifles, or replicas from other countries.

The U.S. Army is searching for AK-74 rifles everywhere, and there will not be too many. What is it trying to do? The reason was not disclosed at all, which made the outside world very confused.

Just two days ago, the U.S. Army Contracting Command (CCNJ) in New Jersey posted a message on the U.S. government’s SAM contracting website, announcing “to identify potential sources for the supply of AK-74 Kalashnikov assault rifles and support components. “.

The CCNJ said the bulletin, issued on behalf of the Soldier Lethality Program Manager (PMSL) and the Combat Capability Development Command Arms Center (CCDC-AC), did not provide further details on why the two parts of the Army were concerned about the AK-74. interest.

The contract notice also does not specify how many AK-74s the Army intends to purchase, but provides a little procurement detail: “For work purposes, the requested AK-74 Kalashnikov assault rifle is defined as follows: An AK – Model 74 Assault Rifle with fixed stock and approximately 16″ long barrel. Also requires the standard accessories that come with each gun – four magazines, a cleaning kit, an oil bottle, a shoulder strap and an owner’s manual.” However, these rifle accessories may not be included by the U.S. Army, taking into account the condition and origin of the rifle.

It should be pointed out that the AK-74 rifle requested by the US Army also includes replicas from other countries, such as the Romanian PA md. . However, the Bulgarian AR-SF and the Polish “Tantal” rifle cannot be classified as the AK-74.

Among them, the East German MPi AK-74 is a direct copy of the AK-74, while the Romanian PA md.86 is a hybrid product of the earlier 7.62mm AKM modified AK-74 barrel. However, the Polish “Tantal” rifle, also derived from AKM, was not accepted.

Historically, Soviet-designed AK-74 assault rifles have been produced in large quantities, estimated at more than 5 million, and exported to more than 20 countries. However, the 5.45x39mm ammunition used by the AK-74 is hardly used by other firearms in the world, and is far less large than the market size of 7.62x39mm and 5.56x45mm. Therefore, ammunition of this caliber is not very common on the civilian market.

Why the U.S. Army purchased these AK-74 rifles, although the purpose is not stated, but the U.S. theater magazine believes that the U.S. Army may transfer these weapons to the Ukrainian military. The AK-74 assault rifle is still the main light weapon of the Ukrainian army, but after the outbreak of the war, there was a serious shortage of light weapons in the Ukrainian army. Some rifles and machine guns from the Second World War and even the First World War have been sent to the battlefield.

At about the same time, the Pentagon announced a new aid package for the Ukrainian military, including unspecified small arms and 2.75 million rounds of related ammunition. From the introduction, these weapons should come directly from the existing inventory of the US military and should have nothing to do with the AK-74 procurement program.

On the other hand, the United States and NATO are actively promoting the “NATO standard” in the Ukrainian army. The large-caliber howitzers have been replaced from the Russian 152mm caliber to the 155mm NATO caliber. Therefore, the United States should actively introduce 5.56x39mm ammunition to the Ukrainian army. Ukraine promotes, instead of continuing to send Russian-caliber assault rifles.

The War Zone magazine also believes that the procurement of the AK-74 rifle may be related to US Army training. From past experience, various departments of the U.S. military often purchase foreign weapons for a variety of purposes, including special operations force training and actual combat use, or to arm imaginary enemy forces during exercises, or to arm foreign “friendly locals”, or to be used for Development, testing and evaluation of weapons.

However, the US military has a long history of procuring Russian-style rifles, and there should be some AK-74s in stock, enough for general training. Therefore, the real purpose of the U.S. Army’s hasty purchase of the AK-74 is still elusive.

The War Zone magazine noted that whatever the U.S. Army’s purpose in buying the AK-74 could prompt the Russian government to respond. For years, Russian authorities have criticized the U.S. government for supplying imitations of “Russian weapons” to some countries in an effort to crack down on the international market share of Russian weapons.

The same is true for this rifle purchase. Whatever the U.S. Army wants these AK-74s for, it will certainly not be purchased directly from the Russian factory. (Author: Tao Mujian)