Blah, so no Balanced recoil, improved Iron sights and Picatinny rails, that's it?
Where did you get all that from?
From the picture shown I would say it does have a balanced recoil system, which along with the already efficient muzzle brake and low recoil 5.45mm round would make it a very stable gun to fire in single shot, or burst fire.
I rather suspect there will only be backup iron sights and that a small cheap scope will be fitted as standard... it will likely have a fairly low magnification for a nice wide field of view but magnifying scopes and even night vision scopes could be mounted in front of it if necessary so that the rifle wont need to be re-zeroed.
Picatinny rails means that a Russian soldier can either use issued tacticrap, or buy his own from western and soon presumably Russian sources. It also means that there will soon be lots of Russian tacticrap to add to the existing tacticrap on the market so wannabes can drag rifles around the place covered in all sorts of rubbish.
I agree with Garry's sentiments, just making a AK into a M4, but that's not too bad, it still retains it's reliability so basically a Russian upgraded M4.
An M4 is simply a short barrel M16.
This AK-200 is not just a short barrel AK-74.
It introduces an improved recoil mechanism that almost eliminates recoil... which the M4 does not do.
The AK gets its reliability because of the weight ratio between the bolt carrier and the bolt.
This gives the bolt carrier a lot of energy to move the bolt... even when the rifle is dirty.
This added to the felt recoil but not hugely so.
This recoil balancing system solves that problem.
It introduces a large capacity magazine, which the M4 does not do.
It retains the same barrel length of the original rifle, which the M4 does not do... because the M16 is a very long rifle, while the AK-74 is not.
At the end of the day an M4 is a short barrel assault rifle that is good to normal combat ranges but without the fragmentation effect of the long barrel 5.56mm rifles like the M16 or SA80.
The AK-200 fires a round not dependant on terminal velocity for a lethal effect as its round is designed to tumble on impact at any speed.
This is a low impact cosmetic update, that improves sighting improves compatibility with various extras, and improves handling, at the expense of a slight increase in complication and manufacturing costs. Handling and maintainence will not have dramatically changed.
This is a half step weapon you introduce while you either complete or start work on something much more radical possibly involving new types of propellent, new types of ammo... etc.
I would guess if they are moving to plastic cased ammo or caseless ammo that the first calibre they will change is the 7.62 x 54mmR calibre rifles and machine guns.
They could possibly even have a transitional ammunition with very compact propellent with very long projectiles that reach right back to where the primer is with the rear of the projectile acting as the primer with propellent around it and fin stabilisers at the rear where the projectile narrows. Such a long projectile cannot be spun fast enough to stabilise it with rifling so a couple of plastic driving bands (or in this case slipping bands) on the body of the projectile to reduce the spin effect of the rifling so that the very long projectile can be stabilised in flight by the tail fins. The combination of heavy mass and high velocity should result in fairly long effective flight range and flat trajectory... both useful for sniper rifles and machine guns.