Kalashnikov for free

Weapons designer Mikhail Kalashnikov gave his name to the new joint company formed on the basis of "Izhmash" and "Izhmeh." Despite the fact that manufacturers were willing to offer Kalashnikov from one and a half to three million rubles for the use of his name as a brand name, Kalashnikov gave it for free.

"Mikhail Kalashnikov is a patriot, a true patriot. There was not a single word about some kind of payment," Interfax quoted Director General of JSC NPO Izhmash Konstantin Busygin, who made a statement last Friday at a press conference. Busygin also added that the documents were signed back in February.

It is assumed that the new concern, known as "Kalashnikov", will bring together  largest enterprises of the Russian defense industry to manufacture a wide range of ammunition under a single brand. The merger should be completed within the next three months. Upon its completion, the company will receive the name "Concern "Kalashnikov."

Negotiations with the Kalashnikov family started last year. At the time the entity was entitled to use the name of the designer only for certain types of military products. Meanwhile, it seemed appropriate to substantially expand the range as it would be beneficial both for the plant and Mikhail Kalashnikov, because the company would provide him with a steady income through the sale of products manufactured under his name. At the very least, this was the goal declared by "Izhmash". Now, however, the concern seems to be pleased with Kalashnikov's patriotism that allowed the company to avoid paying him. It was noted earlier that the brand value of "Kalashnikov" was estimated at $10 billion.

Mikhail Kalashnikov is a unique individual. Seventeenth child from a peasant family, Kalashnikov is now 93, and is famous around the globe. Since 1999, he has had the rank of lieutenant-general. Upon arrival somewhere with a visit, he is greeted like a movie star. Meanwhile, Kalashnikov lives in an ordinary house with no elevator, very modestly, without frills. He is nearly deaf because of trauma developed in shooting galleries and ranges during countless tests of his inventions. Despite the incredible demand for Kalashnikov's inventions, his design activities did not make him wealthy. This is not because Mikhail Kalashnikov failed to take advantage of the opportunities available to him, but because he did not want to do it. In the same way he did not use the opportunity to capitalize on his name, instead giving it as a gift.

Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant (NPO "Izhmash") produces various types of military firearms, sporting and hunting guns, air guns, precision-guided artillery shells, control systems, as well as machines and high-quality tools. There are Kalashnikovs among its products, in particular, modernized Kalashnikov, AK-74M, AK-9, and "one-hundredth-series" Kalashnikovs.

Izhevsk Mechanical Plant (JSC "Izhmeh") is also engaged in production of weapons, both civilian and service ones. In addition, the plant produces power tools, packaging equipment, gas equipment, medical equipment and precise steel castings. However, the basis of its production is still military and hunting weapons. In particular, "Izhmeh" produces the most common hunting rifle in Russia - IZH-27.

In addition to these two major companies, it is assumed that Kalashnikov company will also include other large entities. In particular, Vyatsko-Polyansky plant "Molot", located in the Kirov region. This company also manufactures military and civilian arms, including Kalashnikov RPK light machine gun and Kalashnikov RPK-74machine gun.

Other enterprises of the defense industry are also expected to join the concern, but no official data is available at this time.
Anastasia Garina.

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Author`s name Dmitry Sudakov