Open Thread – March 2014
The AN-94 (Russian: 5,45-мм автомат Никонова обр. 1994 г. / АН-94 «Абака́н», GRAU designation 6P33) is an advanced assault rifle of Russian origin. The initials stand for Avtomat Nikonova model of 1994, after its chief designerGennadiy Nikonov who previously worked on the Nikonov machine gun.
The AN-94 was designed as a potential replacement to the AK-74 series of rifles currently in service with Russian Armed Forces. Due to its complex design and expense its adoption has been very slow and it is in limited use; and it most likely will never become general issue. As of March 2013, the AK-74 (‘M’ variant) is still the general issue rifle used by the Russian Armed Forces.
The stated great advantage of the AN-94 system is its ability to delay the recoil force until the fired round/s have left the barrel. This, it is claimed, enables more ‘hits’ on target under the most adverse combat conditions.
The AN-94 offers a unique two-shot burst function at a stated 1800 rounds per minute rate of fire. The Nikonov mechanism fires the second shot in the burst quickly enough to allow it to escape before the recoil of the first shot is felt, thus potentially allowing the two shots to hit extremely close together, for example to aid in piercing body armor.
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One local resident who was at the airport said that he did not know who the men were. “They’re not talking,” he said.
Meanwhile, another confrontation was underway at a second airport, called Belbek, that is used for military and some civilian flights.
In a post on his Facebook page, the interior minister, Arsen Avakov, said that units believed to be affiliated with the Russian military had blocked access to the airport overnight, with some Ukrainian military personnel and border guards inside. Mr. Avakov wrote that the men blocking the airport were also wearing camouflage uniforms with no identifying insignia, but he added, “They do not hide their affiliation.”