U.S. Special Operations Command, which oversees some of America’s most elite forces, is exploring the possibility of having American companies manufacture Russian-designed weapons, such as the AK-47, that are ubiquitous in war zones.

First reported by the Tampa Bay Times, Special Operations Command, or SOCOM, posted a “sources sought” solicitation for non-standard weapons on a federal contracting site early last month. In April, the command posted a similar notice for non-standard weapon ammunition. The term “non standard” is used for weapons not frequently employed by the United States or its NATO allies.

“For this solicitation, we are exploring capabilities and capacity within [the United States’] industrial base to build the types of weapons many of our foreign partners use,” Navy Cmdr. Matt Allen, a SOCOM spokesman, said in an email.

SOCOM’s solicitation includes weapons such as the iconic “AK-47″ rifle, a catchall designator for Kalashnikov-variant rifles designed to fire a certain type of ammunition and often identified by their distinctive curved magazines. Other weapons include the SVD, a unique looking sniper rifle that has likely killed thousands of U.S. troops since it was first introduced in the years leading up to the Vietnam War. Additionally, Russian medium and heavy machine guns as well as 14.5mm aircraft guns are included in the notice.

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