The Kalashnikov assault rifle was developed in 1947 by Mikhail Kalashnikov and throughout its history was considered the most reliable and easy-to-use assault rifle. In the 1950s, 18 states received licenses to manufacture the Kalashnikov assault rifle. Despite the fact that the term of licenses has long expired, the production of weapons based on AK is actively continuing.
At present, according to rough estimates, modifications of the AK (of which there are officially about 20) make up 20% of the total volume of small arms on Earth and have been adopted by the Aryans of 55 states. It is not possible to calculate the exact number of copies due to the huge volumes of unlicensed and artisanal production of weapons based on the AK. According to various sources, from 40 to 70 million Kalashnikov assault rifles (of all modifications) were produced in 50 years.
Until 1956, the machine gun was carefully hidden from prying eyes. The baptism of fire of the AK took place on November 1, 1956 in Hungary during the suppression of the uprising. After that, the Kalashnikov assault rifle and its modifications took part in all major military conflicts. During the Vietnam War, American soldiers replaced their M16s with captured AKs. the first quickly went out of order in the adverse conditions of the Asian jungle. In the war in Afghanistan, AK was used by both Soviet soldiers and mujahideen, who were provided with weapons by the CIA. Subsequently, the Americans themselves had to face the same AKs that they supplied to the Mujahideen. In 1974, looking to the West, the AK-74 caliber 5, 45 mm was created, which only increased the popularity of the legendary assault rifle.
Due to its reliability and ease of maintenance, the Kalashnikov assault rifle has become the favorite weapon of terrorists, partisans and insurgents, and some of them, after coming to power, expressed gratitude to the AK, depicting it on state symbols. For example, the machine gun was depicted on the flag and coat of arms of Mozambique, the coat of arms of Zimbabwe and Burkina Faso.