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Russia To Modernize Iconic Kalashnikov Assault Rifle

Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin (center) inspecting Kalashnikov rifles earlier this year.
Russia has announced plans to modernize the Kalashnikov AK-47 assault rifle, the mainstay of the Russian Army and weapon of choice for paramilitaries and gangsters around the world.

Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin told parliament that the "modernized" weapon will have "detachable equipment, such as an optical sight and a lamp."

Rogozin said the army would also receive a new pistol by the end of the year to replace the semi-automatic Makarov, another weapon from the 1940s and now a Cold War relic.

Rogozin said that a planned $690 billion modernization of Russia's armed forces includes the addition of new submarines and aircraft by 2020.

Based on reporting by ITAR-TASS, Reuters