Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs has launched a tender for new machine guns intended for urban Close Quarter Battles (CQB).
Tokar-2, the machine gun’s development program will be designed for elimination of hostile man and firepower during CQBs and for supporting Special Forces’ assault groups, according to the MIA`s official notification published at the state purchases web-site.
The Tokar-2 machine gun is to be chambered for Soviet/Russian M74 5.45x39mm cartridge. Unlike Kalashnikov RPK and RPK-74 squad-level fire support weapons (FSW), the new firearm will feature interchangeable barrel, Tass reported Monday.
According to the notification, Tokar-2 will have both full-length and shortened quick-detachable barrels, as well as folding stock, bipod and receiver suitable for both cartridge-belts and AK-74/RPK-74 30/45/60-round box magazines. Tokar-2 will be equipped with both iron sights and Picatinny rail system, for various red-dot/optical scopes. New machinegun will have a combat weight of 7 kg, a length of 900 mm/750 mm with full-length/shortened barrel (with folded stock), respectively, a firing rate of 800-900 rounds per minute and an effective firing range of 800 m.
The tender for the development Tokar-2 is valued at RUB25 million (USD384 thousand).
Previously, the Degtyarev Plant (a subsidiary of the High-Precision Weapons holding) participated in the development of the machinegun chambered for M74 cartridge. The company has yet to decide whether to take part in the Tokar-2 program or to reject it. The related tender is planned to be conducted in June 2016. It should be noted that recently established Russian National Guard might receive Tokar-2 machineguns.
Now the internal forces of Russian MIA are equipped with Kalashnikov PKM, PKMN and PKP Pecheneg (chambered for Soviet 7.62x54Rmm cartridge), RPK (chambered for Soviet M43 7.62x39mm cartridge) and RPK-74 (chambered for M74 5.45x39mm) cartridge machineguns. Both RPK and RPK-74 do not provide sufficient firepower on the modern battlefield, as they lack high-capacity cartridge belt or magazine and interchangeable barrel. Tokar-2 will take the place between PKM/PKP and RPK/RPK-74 machineguns.
The concept of Tokar-2 is similar to the one of FN Herstal M249 Minimi squad support weapon that features the combination of high-capacity feeding system suitable for both cartridge belts and STANAG 4179 30-round magazines and interchangeable full-length/shortened barrel and intermediate cartridge (namely, 5.56x45 STANAG 4172 cartridge).