An operator of the Russian Special Forces (or a Russia-linked private military contractor) has been photographed in Syria with Kalashnikov’s state-of-the-art RPK-16 5.45×39mm light machine gun. The RPK-16 is a further development of the Soviet light machine gun RPK-74. The updated design boasts an interchangeable barrel for close quarter and long-range combat. The 4-kilogram, 5.45-calibre weapon has a rate of fire of 700 rounds per minute. In February 2019, Kalashnikov started limited deliveries of the RPK-16 to the Russian Armed Forces. The weapon is currently in experimental service with the Russian military.
The photo above is one of the first photos of the RPK-16 with a drum magazine (76 rounds) in combat conditions.