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UK has Procured Chinese AKs to Train Ukrainian Troops

Zarvan

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Ukrainian trainees conducting weapon drills (magazines off) with Type 56-1 (UK MoD/Crown Copyright)

In recent weeks we’ve examined how the UK has procured various 7.62x39mm AK-pattern rifles for use in training Ukrainian troops in the UK. The latest video and photographs from the training the UK is providing show that alongside the previously identified AK variants a number of Chinese Type 56-1 rifles have also been procured.



Ukrainian troops with Type 56-1s at the range undertaking marksmanship training and completing weapon handling tests and passing the ACMT live firing assessment (UK MoD/Crown Copyright)

On the 9th of July, the UK’s Ministry of Defence announced that as part of its agreement to train 10,000 Ukrainian soldiers, it had acquired a significant number of AK-pattern rifles. The MoD’s original press release stated:
The Government has rapidly procured AK variant assault rifles for the training programme, meaning Ukrainian soldiers can train on the weapons they will be using on the front line. This effort was supported by the Welsh Guards, who tested more than 2,400 such rifles in 17 days to ensure they were ready for the Ukrainians to commence their training.
Check out my video on the rifles here:

From imagery published by the MoD we previously confirmed that the AKs procured included: Zastava M70 (or M70B)s, milled receiver M70As, folding stock M70AB2s, Hungarian FEG AK63Ds and East German MPi KMS-72s. The latest photographs released, which appear to have been taken in late July at Salisbury Plain Training Area (SPTA), show a type of rifle we haven’t seen previously – the Type 56-1.

They show rifles with under-folding stocks, stamped receivers, rivet positions and enclosed front sights which indicate them to be Chinese Type 56-1s. Where did the UK procure these rifles from? While it has been suggested that the UK may have seized the rifles during operations to interdict the arming of Houthi rebels in an earlier statement to The Armourer’s Bench the MoD said that the rifles have been “rapidly procured… through a combination of international donations and private purchase.”

Type 56-1
Ukrainian trainees conducting weapon drills (magazines off) with Type 56-1 (UK MoD/Crown Copyright)

The same cadre training at SPTA were also seen undertaking Fighting In Built Up Areas (FIBUA) training with British L85A2 rifles. It is believed that the British bullpups are being used for exercises requiring blank firing due to a likely combination of a shortage of AK blank firing adaptors (BFAs), blank ammunition, and the AK BFAs not being deemed safe enough for British training areas. The MoD previously stated that the L85A2s and their BFAs were being used to ‘maintain strict safety conditions for both British and Ukrainian soldiers during training and to meet the urgency of the training requirement.’

As with the other AK-pattern rifles procured by the UK for the training of Ukrainian personnel, the Type 56s won’t be returning to Ukraine with the trainee soldiers, the UK MoD has stated that they are providing uniforms, protective kits and other equipment but not individual weapons.

Matthew Moss

Matthew Moss

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TheFirearmBlog.com – Managing Editor
OvertDefense.com – Managing Editor
Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. He also runs Historical Firearms, a blog that explores the history, development and use of firearms. Matt is also co-founder of The Armourer’s Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms.
Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news.
Reach Matt at: matt@thefirearmblog.com

 

jhungary

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They show rifles with under-folding stocks, stamped receivers, rivet positions and enclosed front sights which indicate them to be Chinese Type 56-1s. Where did the UK procure these rifles from? While it has been suggested that the UK may have seized the rifles during operations to interdict the arming of Houthi rebels in an earlier statement to The Armourer’s Bench the MoD said that the rifles have been “rapidly procured… through a combination of international donations and private purchase.”
FInland, Czech and Romania all have Type 56 in their service, and all of them still one way or another using AK-platform in the current military.

Seeing the UK MOD did not supply them with the Type 56, I would imagine they were borrowed from one of these EU countries (Or all of them), I think they probably have around a million of those lying around either being use or in storage.

If UK MOD buy them somewhere they are more than likely give it to the Ukrainian after they finished training.
 

MH.Yang

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There are hundreds of millions of such toys in our warehouse.

It is a variant of AK47 designed and manufactured in 1963. At that time, the Chinese govt prepared two such rifles for each Chinese.

Because the number is too large, we have exported these rifles to 64 countries. About 36 million in total. The British can easily obtain this rifle from other countries. The use of such rifles by any country does not mean China's political support.
 
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MH.Yang

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Are they maintained or rusted like some of the Russian AKs given to Russian soldiers?
I have told you that China has been selling type 56 automatic rifles in stock, and has sold 36 million to 64 countries.
If these guns are not in good condition, how can they be sold. Have you ever seen the articles in the western media criticizing PLA for not being good at maintaining weapons?

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The Chinese, like the Israelis, have conducted a lot of military training since childhood. Hundreds of millions of people need a lot of guns for military training, but type56 has rarely appeared in the training ground. These type56 usually stay in the warehouse waiting to be sold. So their wear is very little.

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According to the Law of the People's Republic of China on National Defense Education, pupils, middle school students and undergraduates should have military training when term opens or after National Day.



pupils:


junior high school student:



high-school student:


undergraduates:

 

Beny Karachun

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I have told you that China has been selling type 56 automatic rifles in stock, and has sold 36 million to 64 countries.
If these guns are not in good condition, how can they be sold. Have you ever seen the articles in the western media criticizing PLA for not being good at maintaining weapons?

View attachment 885725


The Chinese, like the Israelis, have conducted a lot of military training since childhood. Hundreds of millions of people need a lot of guns for military training, but type56 has rarely appeared in the training ground. These type56 usually stay in the warehouse waiting to be sold. So their wear is very little.

View attachment 885728


According to the Law of the People's Republic of China on National Defense Education, pupils, middle school students and undergraduates should have military training when term opens or after National Day.



pupils:


junior high school student:



high-school student:


undergraduates:

I was asking a genuine question, not criticizing.
 

MH.Yang

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So a semi conscription?
Dude, there are 1.4 billion people in our country. If we implement the military service system, we will have an army of more than 100 million people. That's something we don't need and can't afford.

According to the law, every Chinese will always receive military training during his study. But this does not mean that they will become soldiers in the future. Our geopolitical environment is not as bad as that of Israel. These trainings are just to cultivate the spirit of these children, so that they can endure pain, know how to abide by discipline, and are not afraid of challenges.

The Chinese Constitution gives the Chinese government the right to call up citizens of the right age, and also gives the Chinese government the right to suspend the call up. So China actually uses the contract system. The Chinese government usually does not recruit conscripts, but recruits soldiers through advertisements.


Chinese conscription advertisement:
 

MH.Yang

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It's like the scout in the US. They give them some lecture or physical training during school, usually in some show and tell form.

Probably the scout in the US spend more time in the range than these so called "Military Training" in China.
Each military training usually lasts from one week to one month. Does it take 720 hours for American scouts to hit targets?
 

jhungary

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Each military training usually lasts from one week to one month. Does it take 720 hours for American scouts to hit targets?
You do know Scout is multiple years program, right? and people are in the scout for usually 10 to 15 years.....And you don't just do shooting, you also do wilderness survival, orientational training, mountaineering, first aid, other tactical training (Such as parade, drill, self defence and etc) . All those are considered paramilitary training.

Sure, you can go into the scout and do knitting and nothing else, no one is stopping you from that, but you can get the whole program if you want, and most people who are into JROTC or ROTC would do the whole thing anyway.

 

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