Russia’s Kalashnikov company, makers of the world-famous AK-47 assault rifle, has begun deliveries of their first transport and amphibious assault boats for Russia’s special forces, the TASS news agency reported Wednesday.
The company unveiled its boat designs last year at the International Maritime Defense Show in St. Petersburg as part of the company’s efforts to diversify its product line. Known as the BC-16 and BC-10 landing craft, the new boats mark a significant departure from Kalashnikov’s traditional experience as a small-arms manufacturer.
“In 2015, the boats successfully passed the tests of the courts and were adapted to fit the technical requirements of the Russian army. Our boats' equipment is in no way inferior to foreign models,” company director Alexey Krivoruchko said in a statement.
The BC-16 is capable of speeds up to 42 knots and can travel at least 400 miles with a manned crew of two and up to 19 passengers. The BC-10 is capable of 40 knots with room for 12 onboard.
The boats are able to carry out specialized tasks such as the high-speed delivery of troops, fire support, and patrol, sabotage, and anti-sabotage operations.
The purchase is part of a Kremlin effort to modernize Russia's military. Snap exercises for military outposts all over Russia were carried out last month.