UAR-15: A new Ukrainian clone of the AR-15 rifle intended to replace Kalashnikov

The new addition to the small arms inventory of the Ukrainian Armed Forces is a UAR-15 (Zbroyar Z-15), which, as you can easily guess, is one of the many clones of the AR-15. As the war in Ukraine continues, the lack of weapons forced local arms manufacturers to produce new weapons and equipment to help Ukrainian Armed Forces. The Zbroyar LLC answered the call.

Introduction

The deployment of the National Guard, the Armed Forces, the Border Guards, and other Ukrainian arms groups in line with NATO standards is a long process, albeit with many obstacles. It is currently carried out mainly thanks to the UAR-15 carbines, which, as you can easily guess, are one of the many clones of the AR-15 but produced by the local company Zbroyar. The rifle gets an instant success on the battlefield, similar to the domestically made STUGNA-P ATGM.

Users

So far, the rifle has seen combat within Ukrainian National Guard, the Armed Forces, the Border Guards, and other Ukrainian arms groups. As the Russian invasion advances further, Ukrainian Armed Forces are getting in line with NATO standards. It is a long process, albeit with many obstacles.

Manufacturer

Ukraine is getting help from all around the world, but one of its most important allies is the United States. So it is logical to conclude that the development of the UAR-15 was supported by the US. According to the available information, American company Daniel Defense obtained the license for Zbroyar to produce weapons based on the worldwide AR-15 and AR-10 systems. They are known, among others, for the supply of carbines for the SOCOM.

AKS-74U submachine gun and M4 Commando
AKS-74U and M4 Commando (Photo: XY Guns)

Some components in Ukrainian production still come from this manufacturer, especially in the case of supplies to the military, although before the war, they were successively replaced by domestic components. These are vital components such as barrels and triggers.

Zbroyar products have entered the market of military weapons under the UKROP brand, and from 2020 UAR-15 carbines will be delivered to units subordinate to the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Ukraine and the Armed Forces of Ukraine. This is a version of the Z-15 rifles adapted to the user’s requirements, with barrels and triggers adapted for single and automatic fire, provided by Daniel Defense.

Design

The UAR-15 is a serious rifle modeled on the AR-15 / M4 family. The variant used as a mode is one of the latest incarnations with many solutions that increase reliability and ergonomics, such as an adjustable gas system, an enlarged charging handle, and a swing with a KeyMod mounting system. The rifle is equipped with a Picatinny mounting rail along the entire length of the handle and the chamber of the castle.

UAR-15 rifle manufactured by ZBROYAR
UAR-15 rifle manufactured by ZBROYAR (Photo: UA MoD)

The UAR-15 has mechanical sights and often is incorporated with Aimpoint CompM4 reflex sights in regular delivery (reflex sights are standard equipment issued with the rifle). The adjustable buttstock and front handle come from Magpul or are one of many copies. The weapon is fed from standard plastic magazines. Most of the examples we have seen also come with a silencer. Most of the UAR-15 rifles are issued to the specialized units of the National Guard, Border Guard, Police, and Special Operations Forces.

UAR-15 (Zbroyar Z-15) rifle manufactured in Ukraine
UAR-15 (Zbroyar Z-15) rifle based on M4 family (Photo: XY)

Selected units have already tested the weapon, but in 2020 began deliveries of serial units UAR-15, including special units subordinated to the Eastern Territorial Council of the National Guard of Ukraine, the Cord Special Police Unit, and the 10th Independent Rapid Response Unit “Supervision” of the State Border Guard. There is no information on how much was delivered before February 2022.

Thanks to modern solutions, high ergonomics, and collimator sight, soldiers and officers, even after a short training, achieve better results than with standard Kalashnikov rifles, still in these formations. These are the opinions of the users themselves, often experienced instructors and operators. As they emphasize, UAR-15 in the standard configuration, even with mechanical devices, allows you to achieve similar results as the AK-74 carbine after a substantial modification.

AK-74 and AKS-74U
AK-74 and AKS-74U (Photo: XY)

It is not insignificant that the AR-15 / M4 rifle is very popular and universal. It is mainly because this platform allows easy installation of additional equipment. This opens the field for searching for other applications and further merging.

It is worth noting that Ukraine now receives a significant amount of Western weapons, more or less similar to these decisions. At the same time, this impacts the rapid increase in the saturation of various formations with Western-propelled munitions, which will further accelerate the change in standards.

However, this requires an increase in Ukraine’s munitions production in line with NATO standards, 5.56 mm and 7.62 mm. In the second caliber, Zbroyar also paved the way with the delivery of UR-10 and UAR-008 sniper rifles, powered by 7.62×51 mm ammunition from 2017.

Variants

SMG-15 – a carabine version in 9 mm caliber

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