Elite units of Ukrainian National Guard receive AR-15s

As part of Ukraine's closer alignment with NATO, some National Guard units have begun to rearm in line with the standards of the western alliance

Photos: Ukraine National Guard

Ukrainian National Guard special forces have started to receive their first 5.56x45mm AR-15-patterned rifles. This comes as some Ukrainian National Guard units have begun to rearm in line with NATO standards as part of closer alignment with the western alliance.

The official press announcement of the Ukrainian National Guard does not name the unit, only saying that a separate special unit of the Eastern Territorial Administration has received new UAR-15 assault rifles. The Firearm Blog website mentions that in recent months Ukraine also received a shipment of US military aid worth $60 million. Since the outbreak of the conflict in Donbass and the annexation of Crimea, Ukraine has undergone a massive rearmament program and kick-started its defense industry with a number of attempts at developing a small arms manufacturing capability which has seen the development of the FORT-250 rifle and the M4-WAC-47.

The rifles in the photos released by the National Guard are clearly marked "UKROP", a branch of Ukraine’s state-run "Ukroboronprom" concern. The UKROP UAR-15 has been exhibited at a number of defense trade shows since 2018, and it seems that production of the rifle is now underway. The rifle appears to be patterned after the AR-15/M4, with a KeyMod forend, an enlarged T-charging handle, an adjustable stock and a full-length top rail. The rifles also appear to be select fire. They are also shown with Lancer translucent polymer magazines and a suppressor with flash hider, which is reportedly rated for up to 10,000 rounds.

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