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Mikhail T. Kalashnikov

Mikhail Timofeevich Kalashnikov was born on 10 November 1919 in Kurya village, Altai territory.

As early as in 1941, being a participant of the region conference of the army inventors and rationalizers, Mikhail Kalashnikov, the student of the tank school, received a good reference for designing the combined meter of the tank motor capacity. Thus 22-year sergeant received his first award - the watch engraved with the name of G.K. Zhukov, the Army General. The inventing of that meter and the recorder of the tank cannon shots became a starting point in his way as a designer.

In 1944 M.T. Kalashnikov designed a sub-machine gun and offered a light machine gun for the rifle cartridge and a self-loading carbine for the intermediate cartridge.

The foundation of M.T. Kalashnikov future profession of a designer was laid down in 1947 when he, a young and unknown designer, developed a simple, reliable and high effective rifle - AK-47, the improved modifications of which are still being used by the Armed Forces of Russia and other countries. Just this weapon made a name of its designer to be a real legend in the world. Nowadays the AK-47 abbreviation is known throughout the whole planet.

In 1949 the AK-47 was put into mass production and adopted with the Armed Forces and M.T. Kalashnikov was awarded a Stalin prize, First class.

In addition 12 versions of the Kalashnikov weapon were adopted with the Armed Forces - AKM, AKMS assault rifles (1959), light machine gun (1959), PK, PKS machine guns (1961), PKT, PKM machine guns (1962), AK-74, AKS-74 assault rifles (1974) and AKS-74U assault rifle (1979).

At present the Kalashnikov weapon, or the weapon developed from the Kalashnikov's design are in service with the Armed Forces of more than 50 countries. That fact that six countries carry its image on their national seals is the best to show respect for its creator. Nothing else even comes close to the AK dominance in geography of its spreading and level of its production.

In 1963 new modifications of the AK-47 were put into production: the AKM, AKMS (with a folding butt) assault rifles, the RPK, RPKS light machine guns and their versions with a night vision sight.

Development and production of new series of Kalashnikov weapon, caliber 5.45 mm, AK-74, AKS-74, RPK-74, RPKS-74 and their modifications with night vision sight are dated from 1974.

In 1979 the AKS-74U (short), caliber 5.45 mm and its modifications with night vision sight was designed and put into production.

The legendary person, M.T. Kalashnikov was honored with many government awards for his service to the country, including: orders of the "Red Star" (1949) and "Red Banner of Labor" (1957), three orders of Lenin (1958, 1969, 1976), the orders of the "October Revolution" (1974), "People?s Friendship" (1982), "Patriotic war" First class (1985), "For Distinguished Services for the Motherland" Second class (1994), the order of "Saint Apostle Andrey Pervozvanniy" (1998), the "Pashany" (Honour), Republic of Belarus (1999).

Also he was honored with two "Hammer and Sickle" gold medals (1958, 1976).

M.T. Kalashnikov was twice honored as "Hero of Socialist Labor" (1958 and 1976) for modernization of the AKM assault rifle and development of the RPK light machine gun.

New for the early 1990s is the so-called "100 series" of assault rifles derived from the AKM-74 and chambered for the most widely used cartridges, including 5.56x45 NATO. A series of the "Saiga" hunting guns and carbines were converted from the AK assault rifle.

In 1997 a genius designer of the automatic arms during the second half of the 20th century was decorated with Honorary inscribed weapon (pistol) by the order of the President of the Russian Federation. The same year the Ministry of Economics of the Russian Federation instituted a medal "M.T. Kalashnikov - designer of small-arms" to decorate the citizens of the Russian Federation for developing, creating and producing the small arms, for their contribution to the country defence potential. The Government of the Udmurt Republic established a Kalashnikov premium.

In 1999 M.T. Kalashnikov was presented with medals of the Honorary worker of the office of Public Prosecutor of the Russian Federation and Honorary worker of the Ministry of Internal Affairs. The Union of the scientific and engineering companies decorated the legendary designer with a Shukhov Gold medal.

The Scientific circles of the country, of the Udmurt republic and the International Scientific Academies recognized the invaluable service of M.T. Kalashnikov in designing the whole family of the automatic small arms and gave him the following academic status: the Honorary Professor of the Izhevsk State Technical University (1984), the Honorary Member (Academician) of the Russian Academy of the Missile Artillery (1993), the Honorary Member of the Russian Engineering Academy (1994), the Real Member-Academician of the Engineering Academy of the Udmurt Republic (1995), the Honorary Member of the International Academy of the USA Sciences, Industry, Education and Arts (1996), the Real Member-Academician of the Informatization International Academy (1997).

The greatness of M.T. Kalashnikov personality is acknowledged by a number of the titles: the Professor of St. Petersburg University of the RF MVD, the Honorary Doctor of the Tula State University, Lt. General, the holder of the "Services for the Motherland" order, the deputy of the State Supreme Soviet, the Doctor of the technical sciences, the winner of Lenin and State prizes of Russia, the Honoured Worker of the USSR industry and many others.

M.T. Kalashnikov is an owner of 35 inventor's certificates.

In 2003 M.T. Kalashnikov, a person of world-wide significance, is awarded the higher State premium in the sphere of education in 2002.

M.T. Kalashnikov has been working at the "Izhevsk machine-building plant" up till now and at the same time he is a consultant of the Director General of the "Rosoboronexport" FSUE.

Today the small arms created by the Russian designer are still the symbol of reliability, perfect engineering and design!