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MOSCOW, January 16 (RIA Novosti) – Russian Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin has visited small-arms maker Izhmash and discussed the prospects of the company’s merger with another leading small-arms manufacturer under the famed Kalashnikov brand.
“I met with Izhmash management. We discussed the ways to improve the financial situation at the company and the creation of the Kalashnikov corporation,” Rogozin, who oversees the Russian defense industry, said in his Twitter blog on Tuesday.
Rogozin proposed a merger between Izhmash and Izhmekh, which are both located in the city of Izhevsk, in November last year.
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 planning to revive them by merging them under the new brand.
Mikhail Kalashnikov, the designer of the Kalashnikov assault rifle, has personally authorized the use of his name for the new corporation.
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The current contract portfolio of Russian arms exporters is worth about $46 billion. Annual exports total $15 billion, and this will ensure uninterrupted deliveries for the next three years, even in the worst-case scenario. The list of the main buyers of Russian weapons is unlikely to change drastically.