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  #1  
Old 10-03-2010
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Red face Guess who started making AKs?

Yep, ETHIOPIA... more precisely at the GAFAT ARMAMENT ENGINEERING COMPLEX, being part of the State-owned DEFENSE INDUSTRY SECTOR.

They call their AKM derivative the "Et-97/1 assault rifle". They also manufacture a clone of the GP-25 "Kastyor" 40mm undercarried grenade launcher, called the "Et-97/2 shrapnel launcher".

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Old 10-04-2010
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Default Re: Guess who started making AKs?

I guess they gotta do what they gotta do, but something a bit more original would be nice to see. Then again, if my hazy recollection of Ethiopian history is at all accurate, they were aligned with the Soviets for a while, so between the pre-5.56mm weaponry they had and the stuff they got from the Soviets, I guess it makes the most sense to build what they know and have an infrastructure based around.
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Old 10-04-2010
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First of all, if you got my opinion... call me a bigot, but I think that the last thing Africa needs right now is another factory making AKs to help them kill each others.

Second, the Ethiopian military is up full with G3 rifles in their inventory. How happens that they decided to make the AK when they could have got the license for the G3, is a nonsense to me. Especially if you think that, with the topographic features of the territory the Ethiopian military could find itself fighting in (and already did, if you think of their recent intervention in Somalia), the G3 would be a much better choice over the AK, for range and power. If they wanted a more maneuverable piece, they could have simply made the G3-A4 (collapsing stock) as their standard, in counterposition with the A3 variant (fixed stock, which can however be easly converted into a collapsing stock model by just swapping a few pieces from the butt).

The local manufacture of the AK in Ethiopia must be something recent, if you ever read the suffix of the weapon (Et-97/1 - possibly "97" stands for the year?). This said, probably they went for the AK as it is simpler to manufacture and they could easily get machineries to (basically most of what you need to make AKs is a machine to bend metal sheet), and maybe assistance from one of the world's biggest AK manufacturers outside from Russia and Asia, Egypt.
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Old 10-04-2010
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Default Re: Guess who started making AKs?

The AK is probably the most common infantry weapon on the African continent, so if they wanted to attempt any sales (especially if they can't rely solely on purchases from the government of Ethiopia), they need to make what sells.

It's a hard call that the Ethiopians making AKs is a bad thing, in terms of supplying the conflict. If they don't do it, the US, European, Russian, and Chinese arms makers and unchecked arms smugglers will - if it happens, maybe it's better that some of the wealth goes into some African nation's coffers rather than overseas.
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Old 10-05-2010
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Default Re: Guess who started making AKs?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kthulhu
It's a hard call that the Ethiopians making AKs is a bad thing, in terms of supplying the conflict. If they don't do it, the US, European, Russian, and Chinese arms makers and unchecked arms smugglers will - if it happens, maybe it's better that some of the wealth goes into some African nation's coffers rather than overseas.

I'm 100% with you on this. Especially if you think about how much IZHMASH is screaming against "Piracy" over the AK design when over 1/2 of the "Kala" rifles around the world today aren't even of Russian manufacture...
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Old 10-06-2010
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Default Re: Guess who started making AKs?

Yeah, I can sympathize with Izhmash a bit, but their design was developed in an era when they were a Soviet state corporation (meaning they didn't hold any private rights to it), and was then exported all over the world to whomever the Soviets deemed to be a valuable ally or client.

Now that they're a private company, well, cat's been out of the bag and done filled the barn with kittens for a long time, now. Getting snitty about owning the AK design is probably a futile business proposition, anyway - at this stage of the game, their new AKs are not only competing against all the other gun designs on the market, but also against all of the old AKs that are still floating around out there.
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