Russia to Produce New Sets of Sniper Gear
Russia will soon start producing four new sets of sniper equipment, Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said on Thursday.
“We will produce four sets for snipers,” Rogozin, who oversees Russia's defense industry, told reporters in Moscow.
“The weaponry is going to be a part of a set of equipment, which also includes surveillance and detection tools, means of suppression and passive protection for snipers,” Rogozin said.
The first set is designed for shooting at ranges of up to 800 meters, the second – for ranges of over 1,500 meters, the third – for snipers in urban police operations, and the fourth – for sniper training.
The sets are being developed by a special team at the Tochmash Research Institute. The team includes instructors from Russia’s special forces, who oversee the demands for weapons performance.
The Russian military is planning to deploy by 2016 at least 1,000 snipers to motorized rifle and tank brigades who would be capable of taking down the enemy at a distance of 1-2 kilometers.
Sharpshooters could also be deployed in the event of mass protests, riots, or an Arab Spring type uprising.
The next generation of snipers will be recruited from among contract servicemen and undergo long periods of training.
So the interesting points I would pick out from this... in no particular order:
Dedicated sniper teams are a part of the new brigade structure and will be in both tank and motor rifle brigades.
The ranges they are working on are up to 800m which would allow SV-98 in 7.62 x 54mm calibre rifles or perhaps 6 x 49mm rifles be used as the 7.62 x 54mm is accurate to that range and slightly further in the right weapon.
The range of 1,500m would require a larger calibre weapon, so we are talking about .388LM and 12.7 x 107mm weapons... the former for sniping individuals and the latter for anti material use.
I would expect semi auto weapons and bolt actions will be developed for all these roles to allow flexibility.
An upgraded SVD could handle targets out to 800m with good ammo, and the bolt action SV-98 is already effective to that range with a good margin. For the sniper these two rifles would be perfect, while their spotter might carry an AK-12 in 5.45mm for close protection, or perhaps a 6 x 49mm or 7.62 x 54mm calibre larger AK-12 for unit protection with power and accuracy.
For the 1,500m team I would expect for the sniper that the SV-338 would be a good tool for the job, but the question becomes what sort of sniper weapon would they use for the semi auto in 338LM? Would the SVD design scale up well, or become too heavy? At about 4.5kgs the SVD is one of the lightest 30 cal sniper rifles in service.
For 12.7 x 107mm weapons there is the semi auto OSV-96, and the bolt action ASVK. For the spotters 5.45mm and 7.62 x 54mm/6x49mm calibre AK-12s would be useful.
For standard troops these would be standard issue weapons, where on some missions where extreme accuracy is critical then the bolt action rifles can be issued, and in cases where their role is more a support role then the semi auto weapons offer accuracy and firepower.
For smaller or special purpose teams the huge range of other sniper weapons can be used from the SV-99 in .22lr for urban combat, through the VSS, or VSK-94 in 9 x 39mm, or the VSSK in 12.7 x 55mm calibre, or a range of other weapons including the SVDS and others.
For a designated marksman the common ammo is handy because shooting to a max range of 600m or so means standard ammo is adequate but for specialist snipers engaging targets at 800m with 7.62 x 54mm then machinegun quality ammo is not good enough so having a different calibre like .338LM is not as big a problem as it might appear.
Interesting that the sniper teams will get optics detection systems too... obviously critical in the anti sniper role.