The RPK-74 (Russian: Ручной пулемёт Калашникова/РПК, English: “Kalashnikov hand-held machine gun”) was introduced in 1974 together with the AK-74 assault rifle and chambered for the new 5.45×39mm intermediate cartridge. It was derived from the AK-74 rifle, with modifications that mirror those made to the AKM to create the RPK.
The RPK-74 also uses a longer and heavier chrome-plated barrel, which has a new gas block with a gas channel at a 90° angle to the bore axis, and a ring for the cleaning rod. It is also equipped with a folding bipod and a different front sight tower. The muzzle is threaded for a flash suppressor or blank-firing device.