Moscow: The Russian Armed Forces will take delivery of a new 9-mm handgun to replace the aging Makarov pistol, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said.
"We are certifying a new pistol, the Strizh, which will replace the Makarov pistol in the next few months," Rogozin, who oversees the defence industry, told Rossiya 24 television.
The Makarov pistol has been the standard issue weapon for the Russian military and police for over 60 years.
Strizh has been developed by a Russian private company, Arsenal Firearms.
The new handgun has better performance than the Austrian-made Glock 17, a favourite of special forces worldwide, Rogozin said.
The weapon has a slim-profile polymer frame, an easy-to-rack slide with rear and front serrations, an ambidextrous magazine release and a Picatinny rail for mounting special sights. The pistol also has three safety mechanisms to prevent accidental firing.
Strizh holds 18-round or 30-round ammunition clips, and can be equipped with a flashlight and a laser sight.
It can also be fitted with a longer barrel and used as a machine-pistol.