The RPK-16 is a 5.45mm caliber light machine gun (LMG) designed and manufactured by the Russian small arms manufacturer Kalashnikov Group, a subsidiary of the Russian ROSTEC state corporation. The RPK-16 was unveiled during Army-2016, the International Military Technical Forum which was held near Moscow in September 2016. It was especially developed to replace the old Soviet-made RPK 7.62x39mm caliber light machine gun developed by Mikhail Kalashnikov in the late 1950s.
The RPK-16 light machine uses the standard design and layout of Kalashnikov assault rifle family. it uses traditional gas operated action with rotary bolt locking. The RPK-16 has barrel change capability, so it can be uses as a standard light machine gun with a long barrel or as an assault machine gun with a short barrel. Intended to replace the ageing RPK-74 light support weapon, the “RPK-16 is chambered for M74 5.45x39mm cartridge, as well as its predecessor. The new LMG can fire 7N6, 7N10, 7T3, and 7T3M munitions. The firearm has a combat weight of 6 kg, a full length of 1,076 mm, a barrel length of 370 mm [short barrel] or 550 mm [long barrel], a maximum firing range of 800 m, and a magazine capacity of 30 or 96 rounds. It features traditional Kalashnikov long-stroke piston gas-operating scheme, interchangeable barrels, a Picatinny rail for optical/red dot scopes on the top of the receiver, an ergonomic pistol grip, and a folding stock. The bipod of RPK-74 is replaced by a Picatinny rail. RPK-16 can be complemented by a supressor”.
In january 2017, the Russian Defense Ministry has ordered a pilot batch of up-to-date RPK-16 light machineguns for delivery in 2017, according to the press office of the Kalashnikov Corporation.