Originally Posted by locutus
The AK-74 is a great rifle. That 5.54X39 round packs a pnch.
The AK-47 is obsolescent.
I agree wih the above statement but I think we also need to educate folks on the distinction between obsolete and obsolescent when it comes to weapons systems aqcuistion.
Obsolete: a System's benefit is not worth the effort to operate+ maintain it, even if you already possess it.
Example: a WW1 batteleship. No navy would operate one as an actual fighting ship, as the huge crew and coal needs combined with slow repsonse and limited weapons system ranges and no AA make it not effective enough to justify the effort (even if you possess one in good working order).
Obsolescent: a FFG class frigate (70's). If you have one in good operational shape it may well be worth to operate it, as the combat power you get from it, while less than a modern design may be worth your crew, ammo and fuel costs.
Many countries still operate them, especially those with lower crew costs than USN.
BUT its not worth it to build a new frigate to this design anymore, as the same amount of resources it takes to build a FFG7 class, can be used to build a more modern frigate.
So this makes an FFG7 not obsolete but obsolescent.
A Mirage 2000 for example is obsolscent but very clearly not obsolete, as many countries still use it proudly even though new airframes have not been made in years.
An AK-47 as produced to the original late 40's design is obsolescent but not obsolete , since if you had one for free it would still be worth your time and ammo cost to use it.
But if you are an arms manufacturer you would not produce any new rifles to that design.
An AK-74 on the other hand is neither obsolete nor obsolescent.
A german MP40 from WW2, is obsolescnet but not obsolete, meaning if you had a good working one for free it might be worth your while to use it.. but Heckler and Koch is not going to make brand new ones for military use.
A Pistole 08 the so called "Luger" is a wonderful psitol and if you had a good working one in your house you mgiht use it.
It is accurate with a good trigger feel.
it might even be good enough to use as your primary weapon. But if you are an arms manufacturer you will not produce such a complex design as a new pistol. no one would buy it for the expensive new price it would cost to equip users.
As a matter if fact during WW2 it was already obsolescent (but not obsolete). The germans stopped making it, but kept using it for first line use.
And that is the litmus test whether something is obsolscent: Manufacters stopped making it, but people do (or could) still use it for first line use.
But when you hear people say. Oh Army X is using an obsolete Tank they are likely wrong, since no military would ever use a truly obsolete weapon.
The fact that they still use it ,makes it obsolescent rather than obsolete.