Kalashnikov Concern is Russia’s largest manufacturer of automatic and sniper weapons, guided artillery shells, and a wide range of civilian products, including hunting rifles, sporting rifles, machines, and tools. Kalashnikov Concern products can be found in 27 countries, including the USA, the UK, Germany, Norway, Italy, Canada, Kazakhstan, and Thailand. Alexey Krivoruchko manages the company.
The holding company carries on the glorious history of an armoury founded in 1807 by the order of Emperor Alexander I. It manufactured most types of small arms in 19th and 20th centuries. During World War II, the total number of rifles and carbines manufactured by Izhevsk Weapons Plant exceeded total production of all German plants. During the two centuries, the company produced vast volumes of antitank rifles, aircraft machineguns, aircraft cannons, guns, handguns and other weapons.
After the WWII the plant launched mass production of Kalashnikov rifles that are still used by armies and special forces worldwide. Izhmash was established in 1975.
By 2008, Izhmash comprised over one hundred companies, some of which were on the verge of bankruptcy. In 2010, Russian Technologies carried out an audit which revealed a poor state of the holding company. Only 32 companies were actually operating with a multi-level management system, high overheads and doubled up functions. The combined liability of Izhmash in early 2011 was RUR 19 billion. The use of the existing modern equipment hardly exceeded 20%.
Russian Technologies took on the restructuring process through bankruptcy and merger. One of the objectives was to retain its research, industrial and human resources and to turn Izhmash into a leading global small arms manufacturer.
Izhmash was established in 2011 through assets consolidation, the process that finished in April 2012. As a result, there was a threefold increase in profits and a 10% cut in costs.
In a short time Izhmash managed to establish control over financial flows, improv production financing, payment systems and service of current payments.
In 2011, Izhmash increased the utilisation rate of modern multipurpose equipment from 20% to 70%. The effect from the efforts to enhance production performance amounts to RUR 100 million.
Izhmash revenues increased due to expanded distribution markets. In 2011, the company reached a 50% growth in supply to the US market which accounts for 65% of the global sports and hunting weapons market. Izhmash products are supplied to 27 countries, including the USA, Canada, Australia, Germany, Great Britain, Norway, Kazakhstan, Thailand, and South Africa.
Within 9 months from 2011, export to Germany increased 77%, export to the USA – 62% and export to Italy – 84%. The company cooperates with new partners in New Zealand and Ukraine.
Izhmash is a multipurpose company focused on production of
• combat small arms
• sports and hunting arms
• aircraft cannons
• improved conventional munition projectiles
• checkout equipment for operated weapon systems
• new motorcycle models
• compact cars
• industrial machines
• high-quality tools and point billets
Izhmash produces 90% of the total domestic automatic weapons, 95% of sniper shotguns and dozen types of other arms. The company continuously upgrades its production.
Izhmash developed a cooperation program with Kalashnikov Izhevsk State Technical University. This university is the major source of engineering personnel for Izhmash.
WEAPONS OF THE LEGENDS
The Kalashnikov automatic assault rifle is the single most famous product of IZHMASH NPO. Its ingeniously streamlined design, unrivalled combination of capabilities and specifications has made the Kalashnikov assault rifle (AK) the best small arm of the 20th century. The legendary AK has been in active service with the military and law enforcement agencies of this and 106 other nations around the world.
IZHMASH today is producing fourth-generation Kalashnikov assault rifles – the 100-series AKs: AK-101, AK-102, AK-103, AK-104, AK-105. The company is also working on upgrades for the most ubiquitous assault rifle of the Russian Army: the Kalashnikov AK-74.
IZHMASH sniper rifles are also well-known. The Dragunov rifles have been widely considered the weapon of choice for army snipers for nearly half a century. SVDS, SV-98, SV-99, SV-338 rifles fill the needs of crack units world-wide. Work is under way to develop new types of sniper weapons.
IZHMASH has been a leading Russian manufacturer of sporting and competition firearms for many years, as well as the only Russian manufacturer of biathlon rifles. Many well-known Russian athletes have competed with Biathlon-branded rifles, including Alexander Tikhonov, Alexander Privalov, Vladimir Melanin, Ekaterina Glazyrina and many others.
Work has been under way since 2011 to create a fifth-generation Kalashnikov assault rifle, led by Senior Designer Vladimir Zlobin. While developing the Kalashnikov AK-12, designers have been able to achieve a significant improvement in the rifle’s ergonomics and operating features, adapting it for the modern battlefield conditions while keeping its time-tested unique characteristics. Preliminary testing of AK-12 is now in progress, and the new rifle couldbe accepted for active service with the Russian military and law enforcers in 2014, at which point series (mass) production will begin. AK-12 will be platform for developing as many as 20 different versions of civilian and military rifles.
In April 2012, at the request of the Russian Practical Shooting Federation and working in close contact with competitive shooters, the IZHMASH R&D Technology Center designed the Saiga-12 Ver. 340 sporting shotgun. The Rostec team used the new shotgun to win the Russian practical shooting championship, also winning the silver medal at the most prestigious sporting shooting event in the world – the World Shotgun Championship.
Latest civilian sporting and hunting firearms include new versions of Los-10 and Los-11 (“Moose”) hunting shotguns, Saiga-9 carbine (the civilian version of the Vityaz-SN submachine gun), Saiga-12 Ver. 340 for practical shooting, airsoft-modified Kalashnikov AK-74M for practice shooting and airsoft competition, and many other models.
THE COMPANY COMPRISES
• JSC ‘NPO ‘IZHMASH’, Udmurt Republic
• JSC ‘Izhevski mashzavod’, Udmurt Republic
• ‘Koshkin Automatic line design bureau’ JSC, Moscow Region
• ‘Klimov Special Ammunition Plant’, Moscow Region
• JSC ‘NITI Progress’, Udmurt Republic
• JSC ‘Molot’, Udmurt Republic
• JSC ‘Izhevsky Mekhanichesky Zavod’, Udmurt Republic