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Vietnam to start production of Russian OSV-96 anti-materiel rifle.

| 2018

Vietnam has launched manufacturing of the Russian-originated OSV-96 anti-materiel rifle. The OSV-96 gas-operated self-loading anti-materiel rifle is being promoted on the global market by the Rosoboronexport company, a subsidiary of the Rostec state corporation. According to the official catalogue of Rosoboronexport, the OSV-96 is designed to engage manpower wearing body armor, light armored vehicles, radar, missile and artillery systems and other items of hardware.

Vietnam to start production of Russian OSV 96 anti materiel rifle 925 001
Russian-made 12.7mm anti-materiel sniper rifle (Picture source Wikipedia)

In late 2017, Vietnam's Ministry of National Defense (MND) said the local industry had developed the capability to produce under license 12.7 mm anti-materiel rifles that have a firing range of up to 1,800 m and can engage light armored vehicles. According to military expert the MND did not specify the type of the anti-materiel rifles to be produced; however, the ministry pointed out that it was of Russian design. The OSV-96 anti-materiel rifles are being supplied to the People's Army of Vietnam (PAVN).

The OSV96 can engage manpower at a distance of up to 1,200 m and pieces of equipment at a distance of up to 1,800 m. It can also be used as an effective counter-sniper system. The OSV-96 fires 12.7 x 107 mm ammo and can use cartridges intended for heavy machine guns. The rifle is complemented by a daylight optical sight. When the DS-6 night sight is installed, the OSV-96 can engage manpower at a distance of up to 600 m at night. Self-loading operating scheme and an effective muzzle break reduce shooter's fatigue and allow firing at a high rate. According to the official catalog of Rosoboronexport, the OSV-96 is accurate at a distance of up to 1,700 m. The rifle's body has a weight of no more than 12.9 kg without magazine and sight. The OSV-96 has a length of over 1,700 mm in combat mode. The firearm is fed by 5-round detachable magazine.

It is noteworthy that the Z111 plant located in Thanh Hoa in the eastern Vietnam is the country's biggest manufacturer of small arms and light weapons. "In boosting capabilities in recent years, the factory has prioritized meeting Vietnamese military requirements through partnerships with foreign manufacturers," the analysts of IHS Jane's add. The plant is also reported to have extended its manufacturing facilities. Such a modernization has resulted in the increase of the Z111's capabilities, and the enterprise has exceeded its production targets for two consecutive years.

The MND recently announced the expansion of industrial ties with Russia and Israel in the area of small arms manufacturing. The Z111 is reported to be producing modern variants of the Russian-originated Kalashnikov AKM 7.62 mm assault rifles and the Israeli-originated Galil 31/32 ACE assault rifles designed by the Israeli Weapon Industries (IWI). The Vietnamese military is believed to be armed with battle rifles chambered for 7.62x39 cartridges (also designated M43). According to the open sources, the Galil ACE 32 will be the standard-issue firearm of the PAVN. The Galil 32 full-size assault rifle and the Galil 31 carbine are gradually replacing ageing AK derivatives (including the baseline AK, early variants of AKM and Chinese-originated Type 56 assault rifles). Both Israeli-originated firearms are fed by AK-type 30-round box magazines. Therefore, the M43 will be the organic cartridge of the Vietnamese military - at least, in the foreseeable future.

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