A new sniper system being developed in Russia under the experimental design work codenamed Ugolyok will be ready in four years, Chief Designer for the Ratnik Soldier Gear at the TsNIITochMash defense contractor Oleg Nekrasov said on Friday, Trend reports referring to TASS.
The new rifle will be chambered for Russian rounds, although it will have NATO calibers: .308 Winchester (7.62x51 mm) and the more powerful .338 Lapua Magnum (8.6x70 mm).
"The Institute [TsNIITochMash] is carrying out work on new sniper systems under a technical assignment from the Defense Ministry," the chief designer said.
"It will be necessary to develop new rifles, new sights and new cartridges in the NATO calibers: .308 Winchester and .338 Lapua Magnum, new gunpowder and new detonators. The work is planned to be completed in four years," Nekrasov said.
The new bi-caliber sniper rifle and its ammunition load will be created using solely domestic materials and components, the chief designer stressed.
As TsNIITochMash Deputy CEO Mikhail Levshunov explained, six different rifle prototypes are currently undergoing tests as part of this experimental design work.
"Two rifles of different ammunition suites from the TsKIB (the Central Design and Research Bureau of Sporting and Hunting Guns, a branch of the Shipunov Instrument Design Bureau), two rifles from the Kalashnikov Group and our two rifles," Levshunov stressed.
The rifles developed by Lobaev Arms are not involved in the tests as they do not meet the Defense Ministry’s requirements for domestic components and cannot comply with all the state standards, TsNIITochMash specified.
Hi-tech firm developing new sniper rifle for Russian troops
Russia’s TsNIITochMash defense contractor (part of the state hi-tech corporation Rostec) is developing a new semi-automatic sniper rifle codenamed Ugolyok and chambered for .308 and .338 Lapua Magnum rounds, TsNIITochMash CEO Albert Bakov told Izvestia daily on Thursday.
"Work is underway on the Ugolyok project. It relates to developing sniper systems for the Defense Ministry - two semi-automatic sniper rifles. We are developing rifles for the .308 and .338 Lapua Magnum rounds," Bakov said.
TsNIITochMash earlier carried out similar experimental design work for special services but the requirements set by the Defense Ministry are tighter, he pointed out.
"They [the special services] employ a somewhat different approach towards complete sets than the Defense Ministry, which has set tight conditions for us: no imported components," the TsNIITochMash chief executive explained.
The Ugolyok is being developed not as a replacement for the Dragunov sniper rifle, he emphasized.
"One can spend several billions [billions of rubles] [on developing a weapon] for the distances, to which the Dragunov sniper rifle operates, and achieve nothing. The Dragunov has been brought to its perfection," the chief executive said, adding, however, that ‘in some cases, rifles operational at larger distances are needed."
Now the basic task for developers is to create new rounds, he said.
The first models are ready and are undergoing trials and they are being finalized based on the comments that have been made. The rounds are an integral part of the sniper system that includes the rifle and the detachable equipment, the TsNIITochMash chief executive said.