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Russian soldiers field-tests new Kalashnikov AMB-17 stealth rifle in Ukraine

Russian military personnel from the Espanyol volunteer unit in Ukraine have used the latest AMB-17 assault rifle for the first time, which they received for testing. The soldiers from the Espanyol Unit will present, study, and test the new product under combat conditions to subsequently provide feedback to the creators of this machine gun.
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Kalashnikov  AMB 17 stealth rifle official release. (Picture source Kalashnikov group )

The AMB-17 is a small, light, and silenced assault rifle, intended to replace the VAL and Vintorez rifles. There is also a version without a silencer - the AM-17. The length of the AMB-17 is only 850 mm and it weighs 2.9 kg. The machine gun is equipped with a magazine for 30 rounds of 9x39 mm ammunition. The weapon's automatic system uses a short-stroke gas piston and is locked by a rotating bolt with three lugs. Above the receiver, there is a Picatinny rail for mounting various sighting devices.

The 9x39 mm cartridge is a unique ammunition type that was developed in the late Soviet era, primarily for use in silenced firearms operated by special forces and for covert operations. This cartridge is designed to be subsonic, ensuring that it does not produce a sonic boom when fired, which greatly reduces the noise level when combined with a suppressor. The 9x39 mm uses a heavier bullet that provides significant stopping power despite its subsonic speed, making it highly effective for short to medium-range engagements. The cartridge typically features a full metal jacket or armor-piercing bullet, which enhances its ability to penetrate body armor and cover. Its design caters specifically to operations that require stealth and precision, making it a favored choice in specialized military and police units.

The machine gun was developed by Evgeny Dragunov, the creator of the eponymous sniper rifle. Dragunov designed the AMB-17 in the late 1970s, but the project was not approved at the time because it lost out to a shortened Kalashnikov assault rifle in competition.

In the 2000s, the project was remembered, and its updated version was presented at the Army-2017 forum. The project continued to be refined over six years, after which the AMB-17 finally found its place in the active army. In the future, it is planned to start mass production of a new machine gun intended to arm the soldiers of special forces units.

Now being tested in combat environments, such as by Russian volunteers in Ukraine, the AMB-17 is set for mass production to equip elite units.


Defense News April 2024

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