A breakthrough in the development and manufacture of small arms in Israel has been achieved recently by the Kalashnikov Israel Company (a subsidiary of the CAA Company of Israel) with the introduction of the new AK Alfa assault rifle at the SHOT Show held last January in Las Vegas and at the IWA exhibition held last March in Nurnberg, Germany.
The process of designing, researching and developing the AK Alfa assault rifle was initiated about two years ago by a group of former warfighters and snipers, veterans of special operations units – all employees of the CAA Company, including company owner Moshe Oz, with the intention of introducing a new assault rifle that will combine the mechanism of the AK (Kalashnikov) assault rifle with a new, modern frame. During this process, numerous prototypes were built, tested and evaluated, then improved and rebuilt, until the final product that could fulfill the needs of various end users around the world was ready.
In the summer of 2015, the Company received the Israeli Government's authorization to manufacture such small arms as Kalashnikov, M-16 and Galil assault rifles, and today actual manufacturing takes place at a production plant developed by the Company in the town of Quiryat-Gat.
According to Shahar Dagan, CAA's marketing manager, the AK Alfa assault rifle will be marketed to civilian markets worldwide in its semi-automatic version, and to military and law enforcement markets in its fully automatic version.
Moshe Oz, the founder and president of the CAA Company, told us that thousands of AK Alfa assault rifles have already been sold to government clients from around the world, who currently await the delivery of the first shipments. Two models chambered for the 7.63x39mm round are already available: the AKL – a full size assault rifle with a 415mm long barrel and the AKS – an intermediate-size assault rifle with a 314mm long barrel. In the next phase, the AGL and AGS models, chambered for the 5.56x45mm round, will be introduced and subsequently, models chambered for the 5.45x39mm round and even for the 9x19mm round will be introduced as well. Later on, 'micro' AK Alfa models chambered for the aforementioned calibers will be offered as well.
One of the primary features of the new AK Alfa assault rifle is an ambidextrous safety lever that can be manipulated without the shooter having to remove his/her hand from the pistol grip – a significant and important change compared to the traditional right-hand mounted safety/fire mode selector lever of the classic AK rifle. Additionally, the new assault rifle has a telescoping folding stock with an adjustable cheek rest that helps the user attain the optimal ergonomic grip of the rifle.
Three different cocking handle configurations are available for the user's selection, which may be fitted to the left or right hand side of the rifle frame. Additionally, the new AK Alfa assault rifle was fitted with an ambidextrous magazine catch, which the user pushes down to operate. This enables the user to change magazines faster and more smoothly. Another feature offers interchangeable, ergonomically-designed panels for the front and rear pistol grips that may be adapted to optimally fit any hand.
CAA's recent entry into the small arms manufacturing field represents a process of significant growth in this market in Israel. Until about a year ago, Israel had only 3 small arms manufacturers, headed by IWI (which manufactures an extensive range of assault rifles, pistols, sniper rifles and machine guns). Additionally, the Silver Shadow Company manufactures their proprietary Gilboa assault rifles and Corner Shot range, and the Bul Company manufactures M-15 pistols (among other things). About a year ago, the Emtan Karmiel Company started manufacturing their own version of the AR-15 and M-16 assault rifles.
The new AK Alfa rifle is fitted with a 43cm long upper Picatinny rail that can accept more than a single optical device. For example, a reflex sight with magnifier or a reflex sight with a night vision device. Alternately, the rail will accept particularly large riflescopes. Additionally, the AK Alfa rifle is fitted with two detachable side-mounted Picatinny rails and a detachable bottom-mounted Picatinny rail.
The Company also fitted the AK Alfa rifle with an innovative compensator that reduces recoil, flash and muzzle rise, along with an improved trigger with a shorter pull.
The CAA Company specializes in the design and manufacture of state-of-the-art, specialized accessories and upgrades for firearms. According to a report published on the Globes website, the Company's turnover for 2013 was about 50 million ILS, with the bulk of their production exported to the US market.
The owner of Kalashnikov Israel and its subsidiaries, Moshe Oz, is a former officer who served in elite combat units of IDF and the Israel Police for 19 years, during which he gained combat know-how as well as extensive training experience. As a civilian, Oz applied the extensive experience and know-how he had gained to the invention, development and manufacture of accessories and upgrades for the benefit of his brothers-in-arms in Israel and around the world.