In the course of a warrior in Afghanistan and Chechnya domestic armed forces managed to gain enough experience for some change attitudes towards modern weapons. Tactical situation sometimes requires closer or even going beyond the recommended conditions and parameters of the weapon. In particular, it is thus clear up some shortcomings machine gun RPK-74 and a single PCM. The first because maloimpulsnogo 5,45 x39 mm was insufficient firepower, and the second, with sufficient range, the breakdown and lethal effects (Insert x54R 7.62), too much warming himself. Constantly required to take breaks in the shooting, and then change the barrel. What price had to be paid to calculations of machine guns and their subdivisions for all this, know only the participants themselves fighting, but in the end the command decided to make life easier for the machine-gunners.
In the mid-90s of last century, the Defense Ministry announced a competition for the creation of a light machine gun chambered for 7.62 x54R having the same characteristics as the PKM, but more "heat-resistant". In addition, to facilitate the launch of a new weapon in the series (there were not the best of times for the defense) required to achieve maximum uniformity of the new with the existing PKM machine gun. The competition was attended by the two project companies — Klimovskii CRI Tochmash with his "Pechenegov" and Highland mechanical plant to the project AEK-999 "Badger".
Automation AEK-999 was derived from the original RMB unchanged. Also, the new from the old gun went receiver, ammunition supply system and the butt. Basic characteristics such as sorostrelnost were flat at a machine gun prototype. All changes to the design referred barrel and related parts. Sam barrel produced from the new material. To improve the survivability decided to use an alloy of steel, previously used only for the manufacture of automatic rapid-aircraft guns. In addition, the modified stem mount to the receiver. From the breech to about half its length placed longitudinally disposed fins, and atop the entire length of the barrel added metal channel. Impromptu radiator fins covered with plastic forearm, so it was possible to carry gun not only by the handle. Also allows you to shoot from the forearm AEK-999 from the hip, but because of the weight of the machine gun with ammo is not easy, even a dead weight "Badger" is 8.7 pounds. Innovations around the trunk resulted in the following advanced features:
— Increased length of a continuous line. Different sources put the figure at 500-650 shots;
— Efficient cooling system allowed to refuse a spare barrel;
— Channel above the barrel does not allow heated air to rise directly across the line of sight, eliminating the arrow from the "mirage" and improves accuracy.
Also, the trunk can be set specifically designed low noise firing device (PMS) designed to solve two problems at once. First, stop stun gun hand (most of the powder gases emitted only forward, which reduces the noise going in the direction of a soldier), and secondly, the ICP provides a disguise — a distance of 400 to 600 meters from the gunner’s position, depending on the terrain and other conditions, the sound of shots is almost inaudible. Furthermore, when using night vision sights flames leap out of the barrel, not interfere with the normal aiming. In the first photo, which became known to the public, "Badger" has been imprinted with PMS in the trunk, which is why among fans of the weapons was a rumor about the muffler, structurally associated with the trunk, such as on the rifle BCC. However, the instrument low noise firing when needed can be removed and replaced with a standard flash hider RMB.
Most gunners noted uncomfortable design bipod to the SMP. The designers have taken into account this kovrovtsy-equipped and "Badger" modified bipod. After relevant studies bipod moved farther from the muzzle, and the mounting structure changed so that it is less impacted by balancing weapons. As a result, the bipod are not only durable and comfortable, but also improved the accuracy of hits.
In 1999 he began comparative tests "Badger" and "Pecheneg". According to them the result of the Ministry of Defence has selected for adopting a gun CRI Tochmash and Kovrovskaya interested in the development of the Ministry of the Interior. For military trials at the Interior Ministry special units was made a small batch AEK-999. However, shortly after that arms production at the Kovrov Mechanical Plant was minimized and the mass production of "Badger" did not go. Accurate data on the number of AEK-999, which are currently in operation there, but there is every reason to believe that, at a minimum, their bulk is already worn out.