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AIMS-74

Assault rifle

AIMS-74

The AIMS-74 is a Romanian clone of the Soviet AK-74 with some modifications

 
 
Country of origin Romania
Entered service 1986
Caliber 5.56 x 39 mm
Weight (unloaded) 3.69 kg
Length 943 mm
Length (with folded stock) 748 mm
Barrel length 432 mm
Muzzle velocity 880 m/s
Cyclic rate of fire 700 rpm
Practical rate of fire 40 - 100 rpm
Magazine capacity 30 rounds
Sighting range 1 000 m
Range of effective fire 500 m

 

   The AIMS-74 is a Romanian clone of the Soviet AK-74. In the mid 1970s Soviet Union switched from 7.62x39 mm ammunition to 5.45x39 mm round and encouraged other nations from Warsaw Pact, including Romania, to follow. Development of the new Romanian assault rifle commenced in the mid 1980s. Interestingly though the Romanian AIMS-74 is not a license-produced version of the Soviet AK-74. This weapon was designed independently and had some indigenous modifications. It was adopted by Romanian armed forces in 1986 as the Pusca Automata model 1986. (PA md.86 or simply md.86). It became a standard-issue infantry rifle and gradually replaced the older AIM assault rifle (license-produced version of the Soviet AKM). It is used in this role ever since. As of 2016 Romania has not yet switched to standard NATO ammunition. Only Romanian special forces are using weapons chambered for the standard NATO 5.56x45 and 7.62x51 mm ammunition.

   The AIMS-74 is based on the previous AIM assault rifle, but chambered for the new 5.45x39 mm ammunition. It is a gas-operated, selective fire weapon. Interestingly though due to indigenous modifications the AIMS-74 is 600 g heavier than equivalent Soviet AKS-74 assault rifle.

   This Romanian assault rifle has a more complex firing mechanism than the Soviet AK-74 with an added 3-round burst firing mode. So the AIMS-74 is one of the few AK clones to have such capability. Though this more complex firing mechanism reportedly reduced reliability of the weapon.

   The AIMS-74 is rugged, simple in design and operation. Also this weapon is simple to maintain. It can be field stripped in one minute without using any tools. However in terms of range, accuracy and ergonomics this weapon is inferior to most Western assault rifle.

   This weapon is fed form 30-round magazines. The AIMS-74 uses steel magazines, while magazines of the AK-74 are made of polymer materials.

   This Romanian assault rifle has a simple side-folding stock. So the same basic weapon can be used by all kinds of forces, including infantry, airborne troops, special forces, and non-frontline troops, who typically need a more compact weapon. The stock is identical to that of the East German MPi-KMS assault rifle. There was also a version of this weapon with a solid wooden stock. However it is unclear if it was produced in quantity.

   The AIMS-74 has foregrip with a vertical handle, similar to that of the previous AIM assault rifle. It makes the weapon more controllable when firing in fully-automatic mode. These Romanian weapons can be easily identified due to their vertical handles, which do not exist on other Kalashnikov clones. Lower part of the foregrip is made of wood, though pistol grip and upper part of the foregrip are made of polymers.

   This assault rifle comes with simple iron sighs. Sighting range can be set from 100 to 1 000 m in 100 m increments. However the maximum range of 1 000 is too optimistic. Effective range of this weapon is limited to 500 meters. The AIMS-74 has inferior accuracy to most Western designs due to poor balance and other specific design features. Some of these assault rifles have a standard Eastern block side-mounting rail for various scopes and night vision sights. Recently these weapons are used with a new upper part of the foregrip, which has integral Picatinny-type rail for various red dot sights.

   Flash hider is similar to that of the Soviet AK-74. This Romanian assault rifle can mount a knife-bayonet. The AIMS-74 can also mount an AG40 40 mm underbarrel grenade launcher, similar to that of the US M203. In order to do that a lower part of the foregrip is removed.

 

Variants

 

   AIMR-74 is a version with a different foregrip, which lacks a forward grip. The foregrip is made of polymer materials. This version was reportedly used by combat divers as the protruding forward grip was considered to be cumbersome for amphibious operations.

   md.93 is a light machine gun, which is a clone of the Soviet RPK-74. It is based on the AIMS-74 assault rifle, but has a heavy barrel, reinforced receiver, bipod and carrying handle. This Romanian light machine gun has a more complex firing mechanism than the RPK-74 with an added burst firing mode. It is chambered for 5.45x39 mm ammunition and can accept standard magazines of the AIMS-74. This weapon was adopted by Romanian armed forces in 1993. It replaced the previous 7.62 mm md.64 light machine gun (Romanian version of the RPK).

   Civilian version of the AIMS-74. These are numerous civilian export versions of this weapon, that are being sold under various names.

   Unidentified version chambered for a standard NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition. It was first publicly revealed in 2012. This weapon has got a polymer foregrip, telescopic buttstock, Picatinny-type scope rail, different fire mode selector and some other improvements.

 

 
AIMS-74

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AIMS-74

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AIMS-74

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AIMS-74

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AIMS-74

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AIMS-74

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