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5 Oct, 2021 13:17

Scope for improvement: Russian army to adopt state-of-the-art marksman rifle as part of modernization plans, weapon developer says

Scope for improvement: Russian army to adopt state-of-the-art marksman rifle as part of modernization plans, weapon developer says

Russia’s largest arms manufacturer has said that its new and improved sniper rifle has now completed the final stages of production, showing “positive results” in tests, and could soon be used to hunt enemies on the battlefield.

In a statement to RIA Novosti on Tuesday, the Kalashnikov Group reported that the Chukavin rifle – codenamed Reaper – is close to being ready to enter mass production. It is set to replace the Army’s current long-range rifle, the Dragunov, which despite its easy operation and reliability since 1963, no longer satisfies requirements in terms of range and destruction. The new Chukavin is capable of destroying a target up to a kilometer away with a single shot.

The semi-automatic rifle was first presented at the ‘Army-2017’ exhibition as part of a new generation of guns being produced for Russia’s troops on the ground. Other weapon upgrades include replacing the standard issue AK-74 assault rifle with the new AK-12, arming Russian air force pilots with PPK-20 submachine guns, and swapping the Makarov pistol for the new Udav side arm.

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“At present, the results of the tests are being documented, after which a decision is expected to adopt a new rifle complex into service,” the group told RIA.

The news about Russia’s latest sniper rifle comes just days after the country’s military announced further developments in modernizing and upgrading its forces. Head of the Russian ground units General Oleg Salyukov revealed last week that a “new ‘robotic’ subsystem as part of the combat outfit” is being developed as part of the ‘future soldier’ program.

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In September this year during the Zapad-2021 exercises, Russia also unveiled combat robots that are able to destroy tanks without risking the lives of ground forces. Other advanced developments include the Zircon hypersonic missile, which was successfully launched on Monday from a submarine, as well as the S-500 Prometey surface-to-air missile system, the T-14 Armata main battle tank, and the TOS-2 Tosochka heavy flamethrower.

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