Azerbaijan Begins AK-74M Production

The Azeri version of the AK47M rifle

BAKU (UPI)—Azerbaijan has begun producing AK-74M assault rifles under a license from the Russian armaments manufacturer Izhmash.

The assault rifles are being produced for the Azeri armed forces under the name “Khazri.”

The Azeri AK-74M rifles have a number of modifications from the Russian model of the weapon, the Azerbaidzhanskoe Informatsionnoe Agentstvo news agency reported Tuesday.

The Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant — Izhmash — is a munitions manufacturer with headquarters in Izhevsk. Founded in 1807 by decree of Czar Alexander I during the Napoleonic wars, Izhmash is one of the largest armaments corporations in the world.

It is best known for its Kalashnikov series of assault rifles. Izhmash also manufactures other armaments, including artillery, missiles and shells along with other goods, such as motorcycles and cars.

While the Khazri uses the same 5.45mm ammunition as the Russian AK-74M, the Azeri variant can be fitted with night-vision devices, laser spotting, illumination and scope systems.

During the first phase of production the AK-74M assault rifles for Azerbaijan will be produced using Russian components until Azeri defense enterprises are capable of producing parts of the rifles’ assemblies themselves.

The Azeri state defense order program envisages the production and delivery of 5,000 Khazri assault rifles to the country’s defense ministry.

More than 5 million AK-74s have been manufactured since the weapon was introduced in 1974. The AK-74 is an adaptation of the 7.62mm AKM assault rifle, which features several significant design improvements.

The AK-74M is the main service rifle in the Russian army and was first used during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan in the early 1980s. Other nations utilizing the AK-74M include Afghanistan, Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Mongolia, North Korea, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine and Uzbekistan. Poland and Romania manufacture their own variants of the AK-74M under license.

Last month, during a speech delivered during a military parade marking the 20th anniversary of Azerbaijan’s independence, Azeri President Ilham Aliyev said Azerbaijan’s military budget, which totaled $160 million in 2003, rose to $2.15 billion in 2010 and $3.3 billion in 2011.

“Today, the money Azerbaijan is spending on the military exceeds the entire budget of Armenia by 50 percent,” Aliyev said. “We live in a time of war. The war is not over yet, only its first stage is, and a country at war should first of all focus on building the army.

“Today, military spending ranks first in the state budget of Azerbaijan and this will be the case until our land is freed from occupation.”


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  1. zareh said:

    The Azeris are manufacturing AK-74M while the Armenian oligarchs are building palaces for themselves.
    Shame on them.

  2. bigmoustache said:

    why arnt we producing more? do diasporans need to go there and take control?

  3. Edward Demian said:

    Very good. We are tired of capturing junk. We want better quality booty.

  4. Stepan said:

    Azerbaijan has consistently proven that military hardware is but one variable in the equation of capability.
    The rhetoric coming from Aliyev is varies from comical to frustrating, but let’s remember that while he babbles about “territorial integrity”, Artsakh has been liberated and every day continues to build it’s infrastructure.If territorial integrity is essential then let’s reflect on the recent examples of Kosovo and south Sudan where self-determination prevailed.
    It is absurd for the free world to listen to the empty rhetoric of Karabagh being an integral part of Azerbaijan, when the country itself didn’t exist before 1920 and its connection to Azerbaijan was just another example of Stalin’s manipulation of border within the Soviet Union to control nationalism . Ask the Poles, Latvians and Lithuanians about their borders.
    One day this ridiculous debate , where an oppressor with an artificial relationship with the oppressed uses “territorial integrity” to challenge the God given right of a people to be free will end.
    Historic Artsakh will once again be a part of Armenia. History has shown us that Armenia can regenerate from near extinction and reappear. We are experiencing another cycle of recovery. Let’s get behind our people with the economic capability Armenians have demonstrated in all corners of this earth.

  5. John Robinson said:

    The Armenian government is truely incompetant . The building of an independent arms industry should have been the number one priority from the beginning. The manufacturer of arms is a big money making industry and it would allow Armenia to have independence from having to buy from foreign suppliers especially since Armenia is a landlocked country. Israel’s arms industry has made that country rich and is a huge part of that economy. Arms are a big money making. What is even worse is that Israel has a contract to build the Namer armored personal carrier in Azerbaijan which is one of the best armored troop transporters ever built.I hope that the incompetent and corrupt people in power in Yerevan realize the mistake that they have made. Serbia would be a country to get help from . Serbia is setting up turnkey tank factories in countries acccording to the economist.

    • Arthur I said:

      Good suggestion, but our lazy corrupt business and government leaders rather just sell the iron ore to the Chinese instead of using it to build tanks. Aper, khie geloukhneres tsavatsnenk tang shinenk yete karank hanke tsakhenk ou kafeneroum pabiros tsekhenk.

  6. Armenakan said:

    The comments on this article prove that Aliev’s propaganda is actually working, he has been successful in implanting doubt and suspicions into the minds of Armenians, especially diasporans, who live in a dream world. Armenia has been manufacturing its own small arms since independence, from the K-3 bullpup rifle to ammunition. Unlike Azerbaijan, however, we do not publicize everything, which is the way it should be. Shame on those who question their own country when the enemy babbles its mouth. It is sad to think, but I suspect some on here will soon say “Let Aliev be in control in Armenia, he is better than those oligarchs that currently run it.”

    • Avery said:

      well said Armenakan:

      it’s an ancient Armenian disease: always denigrate everything Armenian, and believe everything negative that the foreign press says about Armenia (example: the Forbes magazine nonsense).

      Apparently it was the Aliens who having a 1-to-5 disadvantage in everything massively defeated the Azeri invaders. How did that happen ?

      No smart leadership would publicise their TRUE military capabilities.
      Azeris regularly plant these stories in various media to scare – in their minds – Armenians into giving up the liberated lands without a fight.

      Idiots even paraded their S-300s. Guess what ? RoA barely acknowledges they have S-300s.
      Maybe RoA Defense Force have something much better than the S-300? what do you think ?

      When US plants stories in the news media about the existence about or that military capability, it is already obsolete.

      Nobody in public knew about the stealth F-117 for about 20 years after USAF was flying it.
      When it was used in Iraq, it was already obsolete: US had (and has) something
      way beyond the F-117.

  7. Armanen said:

    All the haters talking down on Armenia should be reminded that Armenia is producing its own UAVs while the azeris spend millions buying israeli made UAVs.

    • Arthur I said:

      Wrong. It is the Ameris that are going to produce UAVs under Israeli license and the US provided satellite will give them unlimited capability. Before you call patriotic critics heaters, look at yourself and assess your cranial shortcomings.

  8. hye4life said:

    Armanen – Please site us the source on the UAVs. Let’s not get carried away here, is there solid proof that Armenia is making drones? I hope they do, but hardly anything gets produced in Armenia, the economy over there is based on “buying something from here and selling over there”

  9. John Robinson said:

    Armenia’s government should focus on making heavy weapons instead of small arms. Heavy weapons are what win wars. Serbia, India, and China would be ideal countries to buy arms from and to buy licenses from to build these weapons. The Indian Tank EX is particularly interesting since it is a modern composite armour turret that can be installed on the hull (chassis) of a T-72 or T-80 tank that Armenia possesses. The T-72 has poor armour and this would be a very cost effective upgrade with this Indian turret. Cheap systems like the bofors 40 mm anti-aircraft gun still remains a very effective weapon when coupled to a modern radar system.

  10. Peter Galoustian said:

    Armenia should purchase the KAB-1500L-Pr bunker buster bomb that can penetrate 10-20 m of earth or 2 m of reinforced concrete. The bomb weighs 1,500 kg (3,300 lb), with 1,100 kg (2,400 lb) being the high explosive penetrating warhead. It is laser guided and has a reported strike accuracy of 7 m (23 ft) CEP..
    This weapon could be used to target the Azeri oil pipelines. The threat of this weapon would make the Azeris think twice about attacking Armenia.

  11. Paul Minassian said:

    The best military investment Armenia could make is to buy the Russian 240 mm self-propelled mortar known as the 2S4 Tulpan (SM-240). This huge mortar can fire a concrete penetrating mortar shell that can destroy Azeri fortifications including airbases, radar sites, military bases and other such facility. Concrete penetrating mortar shells are critical to destroy military bunkers that are made of reinforced concrete It also comes with a laser guided mortar shell that is highly accurate.

  12. Robert Klein said:

    I am half-Armenian and I was in the US military.Armenia needs to improve in many areas.The most cost effective things to do would be for Armenia to buy used Russian weapons . Finland is getting rid of it’s Buk missle system and it was the Buk missle system that shot down the majority of Russian aircraft in the 2008 Ossetia conflict. Another excellent Russian weapon system are the Metis and Kornet anti-tank missles.This missle was able to destroy the Merkava tank during the 2006 Lebanon war.Azerbajan will buy the Merkava tank and this missles will destroy it. Indian anti-tank missles are also much more affortable and relatively effective such as the NAG top attack anti-tank missle which attacks the soft part of the top of the tank turret. Each missle is $26.000 which is a bargain compared to many other anti-tank missles.

    • Armenakan said:

      Thank you for your input. Armenia is already getting brand new Russian weapons free of charge, no need to purchase used ones.

      And as a response to another poster, Seyran Ohanian not long ago confirmed that Armenia was in production of UAVs. I can find the exact article, the quotes are out there in archived internet news. And knowing that, as mentioned before, we keep our mouths shut about our capabilities, it makes me think that UAVs are not in production but already in use.

      • Robert Klein said:

        I agree that the weapons that Russia is giving to Armenia is useful but what Russia is giving is not enough .Armenia does not have any fighter capability to counter the Azeri MIG-29 and the Russians have not given Armenia any MIG-29’s .The MIG 29’s could shoot down the SU-25’s in the Armenian airforce. Armenia needs fighter aircraft. Secondly Armenia needs better long range artillery like the BM-30 multiple rocket launcher.Azerbajian has 60 BM-30 which could devastate Armenian forces.Armenia also needs the BM-30 and I certainly don’t know if Russia will give that system to Armenia

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