Guns and Weapons

AK-47 maker to up staff numbers as orders outpace production

The maker of the AK-47 semi-automatic rifle says it is to increase staff by 30 percent because of a surge in export orders.

The Kalashnikov Group put out a press release from its Moscow office Monday stating that it will create a further 1,700 jobs this year.

"Following the growth of production volume, which was driven by the rise in the number of export orders, it was decided to increase the number of the Group's employees," said Alexey Krivoruchko, chief executive of the Kalashnikov Group.

"The challenge we face is managing the growing number of orders. To fulfill them, as of April 2017, production will run in three shifts," he added.

The Kalashnikov Group said it employed around 5,500 people at the end of 2016.

The new staff will be recruited to work as service technicians, grinders, toolmakers and machine operators.

In August 2016, gun-maker Kalashnikov opened a shop at Moscow's Sheremetyevo airport.

The shop has realistic model guns as well as hunting gear, according to a Reuters report, which added tourists were expected to snap up the famous brand.

The AK-47 has acquired an iconic status due to its low production costs and reliability in extreme conditions.

The weapon was invented in 1947 by a Red Army soldier, Mikhail Kalashnikov, who drew up his design while recovering in hospital from injuries received in battle.

Correction: The AK-47 is a semi-automatic rifle. An earlier version mischaracterized it.