MOSCOW, May 31 (RIA Novosti) – The Kalashnikov Corporation, which will absorb major Russian small-arms makers, will be established in July 2013, a spokeswoman for the Izhmash plant said Friday.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin, who oversees the Russian defense industry, had proposed in November a merger between weapons makers Izhmash and Izhmekh, both located in the city of Izhevsk. He later suggested that some other small-arms manufacturers should join the corporation under the famed Kalashnikov brand.
Rogozin said Thursday that the corporation should be registered in time for Russia’s Day of Arms Makers, September 19.
“In July 2013, Izhmash, currently a part of the Rostech state corporation, will be renamed the Kalashnikov Corporation and become the only executive body of Izhmekh. The presentation and official ceremony to open Kalashnikov will be held on September 19 in Izhevsk and on September 21, 2013, in Moscow,” Izhmash spokeswoman Irina Filatova said.
Izhmash has been manufacturing Kalashnikovs since the world-famous assault rifle first went into mass production in 1949, while Izhmekh is best known for producing Makarov and Yarygin pistols.
However, both companies have been recently experiencing financial difficulties and a sharp drop in production output. The government is now hoping to revive them by merging them under the new brand.
Mikhail Kalashnikov, the designer of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, personally authorized the use of his name for the new corporation in February.
Izhmash chief Konstantin Busygin denied media rumors that Russia’s most famous firearm designer asked to be paid for the use of his name.
The legendary Kalashnikov assault rifle
“Rumors have emerged that Mikhail Timofeyevich [Kalashnikov] received 1.5 million rubles [about $47,000] for the use of his name, and that we promised to pay him 300,000 rubles [$9,400] every month,” Busygin said. “Mikhail Timofeyevich is a true patriot. … The question of money wasn’t even raised.”