Current research

SAFOPS works on four major projects. The four subject matters have been selected since these categories of small arms form all together an important group as an asymmetric threat for societies. One of the projects that is currently running concerns the 
The Kalashnikov assault rifle. In conjunction with other network partners SAFOPS conducted research into the variety and diversity of the well known assault rifle. 

More information about the subjects can be found under the projects descriptions.

The Kalashnikov assault rifle is one of the most well know small arms. It is categorized as an assault rifle, a so called selective fire weapon because of its semi- and fully automatic firing capability. The Kalashnikov assault rifles are notorious for their robustness, reliability, easy usability and combat effectiveness. It is estimated that more than 150 million copies have been made. The international arms trade supports an ongoing wide diffusion of the weapon (including its versions like the AKM and the AK74). The Kalashnikov assault rifle can now be found all over the world. The lock-in effects of the Kalashnikov enhances its position every day. This lock-in process is still going on due to the manufacture of spare parts, the creation/improvement of (new) models and the production of ammunition. SAFOPS believes that the Kalashnikov remains the first choice hence it will be necessary to understand and to further insight about the weapon and its context. The study therefore covers the following main objectives:

complete survey into all military models;

technical specifications of these models;

determining the most important aspects like factory markings and typical technical specifications for identification purposes.

 The outcomes of the study will be published in October 2015.