Thursday, January 5, 2017

Ukroboronservice, a part of the Ukroboronprom State Concern intends to produce M16 assault rifle s under NATO standards in Ukraine in cooperation with U.S. Aeroscraft

January 5, 2016 As reported by the press service of the Ukroboronprom*, such arrangements came out from the Memorandum on Cooperation between the two companies. "M16 automatic assault rifle type will be the first firearm manufactured in Ukraine as part of the pilot project. Production of weapons meeting NATO standards is an important part of the development and reform of Ukraine's defense industry," Ukroboronservice Chief Executive Officer Serhii Mykytiuk said.
In 1964, the select-fire rifle M16 entered American military service and the following year was deployed for jungle warfare operations during the Vietnam War. In 1969, the M16A1 replaced the M14 rifle to become the U.S. military's standard service rifle. The M16A1 improvements include a bolt-assist, chrome plated bore and a new 30-round magazine. In 1983, the USMC adopted the M16A2 rifle and the U.S. Army adopted it in 1986. The M16A2 fires the improved 5.56×45mm NATO cartridge and has a new adjustable rear sight, case deflector, heavy barrel, improved handguard, pistol grip and buttstock, as well as a semi-auto and three-round burst only fire selector. Adopted in 1998, the M16A4 is the fourth generation of the M16 series. It is equipped with a removable carrying handle and Picatinny rail for mounting optics and other ancillary devices. The M16 has also been widely adopted by other militaries around the world. Total worldwide production of M16s has been approximately 8 million, making it the most-produced firearm of its 5.56 mm caliber. The U.S. Army has largely replaced the M16 in combat units with the shorter and lighter M4 carbine, and the U.S. Marine Corps approved a similar change in October 2015.

From top to bottom: M16A1, M16A2, M4A1, M16A4
"I have never encountered the decision to grant a license for the production of weapons abroad was provided by the U.S. government so fast. It took us only three weeks to obtain a license and we are already setting up production of NATO weapons in Ukraine," Aeroscraft founder Igor Pasternak said.
The Memorandum on production was formally signed by both parties on Jan. 3. Ukraine has formally launched NATO weapons production on this day. Taking into account the needs of the Ukrainian army, both standard NATO ammunition and the one available at Ukrainian arms depots will be used in various modifications of the produced rifles that will also be marked under NATO standards.

*Ukroboronprom is an association of multi-product enterprises in various sectors of the defense industry of Ukraine. The concern includes enterprises, which operate in the development, manufacture, sale, repair, modernization and disposal of weapons, military and special equipment and ammunition, and participating in military-technical cooperation with foreign states.