Vietnam Unveils STV-410 Assault Rifle

Few details on the new weapon that looks like a Kalashnikov have been released so far

On its Facebook page, VietDefense reports that Factory Z111 and the General Department of Defense Industry developed a new rifle that resembles a Kalashnikov. It has been designated the STV-410 7.62x39mm assault rifle, and it can be considered the Vietnamese version of an AK-15.

Some of the details about the weapon are still classified, but as its name suggests it has a 410mm-long barrel and it fires the traditional 7.62x39mm round that has been a staple of almost all Vietnamese firearms. The optic placement in the photo is not realistic and is likely just for show, as most regular troops will be using standard rifle sights. It appears the weapon has a full-size stock unlike other new Vietnamese small arms with foldable variants.

Creating a modern Kalashnikov outside of Russia is considered not that difficult and well within the capability of the Vietnamese defense industry, according to the defense blog. VietDefense noted that Factory Z111 received a license to produce the Galil ACE line of rifles in 2014 and proceeded to localize the designs with traditional Kalashnikov components. It said the AK-15 and Galil ACE are both just modernizations of the original Kalashnikov by two different countries.

Give a Galil ACE receiver an AK stock, add an AK style firing selector switch, keep picatinny rails, use thinner handguard, and you have something that somewhat resembles what the Russians did with their AK-15, according to VietDefense. Vietnam's other STV rifles were also created by localizing the Galil ACE with more Kalashnikov components.

VietDefense said it hopes that the STV-410 is not a dead-end project, adding that "we wonder what the new rifle will be used for" since the STV-380 was already chosen as the next-generation Vietnamese service rifle and mass production has already been carried out.