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Russian Ministry of Defense to receive underwater firearms 52207164

Defence & Security News - Rostec
Russian Ministry of Defense to receive underwater firearms
Russia`s Ministry of Defense (MoD) continues to receive ageing underwater firearms, namely APS (Special Underwater Assault Rifle, Avtomat Podvodnyi Spetsialnyi) assault rifles and SPP-1 (Special Underwater Pistol-1, Spetsialnyi Podvodnyi Pistolet-1) pistols, according to the Director General of the TsNIITochMash design bureau (a subsidiary of the Rostec state corporation), Dmitry Semizorov.
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The APS underwater assault rifles (Photo Wikipédia)
"The APS underwater assault rifles and the SPP-1 underwater pistols are included in the State Defense Order (Russian acronym: GOZ, Gosoboronzakaz) rearmament program, as well as the relevant cartridges. We are enhancing the technologies of the underwater cartridges massive production in order to reduce the prime costs. The APS assault rifles and the SPP-1 pistols were brought into service with the Soviet Armed Forces in the late 1970s. Despite their age, the weapons remain the most effective underwater firearms in the world. Both APSs and SPP-1s are in high demand by the Russian Armed Forces," Semizorov said.

According to him, the Central Sporting and Hunting Weapons Research & Design Bureau (Russian acronym: TsKIB SOO, a subsidiary of the Tula-based Instrument Design Bureau/KBP) has been developing the ADS (Special Amphibious Assault Rifle, Avtomat Dvukhsrenyi Spetsialnyi) amphibious assault rifle to replace ageing APS. "I know that the Tula-based defense enterprises are designing new underwater firearms. In fact, their works have yet to extend beyond the tests of the prototypes. The APS assault rifles and the SPP-1 pistols have not become obsolete weapons. There is no issue of both firearms replacing with the modern ones," Semizorov pointed out.

According to the TsNIITochMash design bureau, the APS assault rifle has a combat weight of 3.7 kg, a full length of 832 mm (including a barrel of 300 mm), a magazine capacity of 26 cartridges, a firing rate of 500-600 rds/min, a muzzle velocity of 240-365 m/s, and an effective underwater firing range of 10-30 m. APS is chambered for 5.66x39mm MPS special cartridge developed by TsNIITochMash.
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The SPP-1 underwater pistol (Photo Wikipédia)
The SPP-1 pistol has a combat weight of 0,95 kg, a length of 203 mm, a muzzle velocity of 250 m/s, and a firing range of 17-20 m. The firearm incorporates four barrels. SPP-1 is chambered for 4.5x40Rmm cartridge.

Both aforementioned firearms developed by TsNIITochMash have a pivotal drawback, namely low precision and short firing range in out-of-water conditions. For instance, the APS assault rifle fires at 50 m on land, having a barrel service life of about 200 shots (compared to 2,000 shots underwater). The Soviet/Russian frogmen had to carry an additional personal defense weapon (in particular, the AKS-74 assault rifle, the AKS-74U PDW, or the Makarov PM pistol) to eliminate adverse servicemen in land operations. As a result, a frogman was overloaded. One could rely on the APS assault rifle to kill enemies on land, but the weapon`s extremely short out-of-water firing range significantly limited the soldier`s combat capabilities.

To fix the aforementioned drawback, the TsKIB SOO design bureau has developed the ADS amphibious assault rifle. It has a unique capability of firing the organic 5.45mm 7N6/7N10/7N22 cartridges of the Russian Armed Forces, as well as the special PSP-UD underwater cartridge. Hence, ADS is going to be a unified assault rifle, being able to eliminate land and underwater targets with the same efficiency. The firearm has a combat weight of 4.6 kg, a length of 685 mm (including a barrel of 418 mm), a firing rate of 700 rds/m, a muzzle velocity of 900 m/s (using 7N6/7N10/7N22 cartridges), an effective firing range of 500 m, and a magazine capacity of 30 rounds. The firearm can be complemented by an under-barrel grenade launcher (chambered for VOG-25 40mm grenade) or the Skat hydroacoustic station. The amphibious assault rifle features the Picatinny rail systems for various red dot/optical sights and weapon accessories (laser pointers, flashlights, etc.). ADS also has an attaching lug for silencer.

Russia`s defense industry originally intended to launch the massive production of the newest amphibious assault rifle in late 2015. However, it was postponed to 2016. "We are planning to manufacture 20 ADS rifles in 2015. The weapon`s serial production is scheduled for 2016," the TsKIB SOO`s CEO, Alexey Sorokin said at the IDEX 2015 defense show. In February 2015, a post-Soviet state was reported to have acquired a small batch of ADS rifles.
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