High-precision sniper platform for Special Forces

22 November 2016 Dmitry Litovkin, Izvestia
A specially designed new platform stabilizes even the most severe shaking and vibrations.
Sniper
A platform will be supplied to the Special Operations Forces and the Federal Security Service (FSB). Source:mil.ru

Special Operations Forces of the Defence Ministry and the Federal Security Service (FSB) will soon have a unique ultra-light gyroscope-stabilized platform to mount sniper rifles and machine guns on light armoured vehicles, high-speed buggies, boats and helicopters.

The new platform, developed by 5.45 Design and INS Stabilization OJSC, completely cuts out all shaking and vibration using gyroscope-stabilizers, thereby providing the required stability for high precision shooting, even under strong buffeting.

The platform consists of a base and a gyro-stabilization unit on which, with the help of well-known Picatinny rails (rail interface), a sniper rifle is mounted. Soon, 5.45 to 12.7 mm caliber machine guns will be fastened to such a platform, after necessary improvements are made.

At the heart of the product are the subminiature gyroscopes, which are slightly bigger than similar devices installed in smart phones.

“At the moment, we have started our internal testing stage,” Sergey Goncharov, General Director of AllMulticam (owner of the 5.45 Design brand), told Izvestia. “In December and January, we will subject this product to military tests. The installation is working reliably in ‘laboratory’ conditions, and now we need to make sure that when a weapon is fired from it, nothing will change. The challenge is to be able to shoot while driving, not only a sniper rifle, but also a machine gun. Then we will supply this product to the Special Operations Forces and the Federal Security Service (FSB).

Goncharov said gyroscopic stabilization is one of the main differences between this new platform and the currently used pivot-mounts used for weapons. The gyroscope-stabilized platform cuts out engine vibrations and does not react to bumps when a vehicle is moving, allowing for accurate aiming and shooting. The platform can easily be rotated 360 degrees, and allows shooting angles in the range of minus 70 to plus 30 degrees.  

“Another special feature of our product is that it is mobile,” said Nikolay Verbitsky, head of INS Stabilization. “That is, if necessary, not only can a soldier quickly remove the weapon from the station, but also move the entire platform to another vehicle, as it weighs only 28 kg.

Mobility is the main difference between this new platform and similar products made by large manufacturers, such as the Kalashnikov Concern or the Vasily Degtyarev Plant. These two companies are the leading Russian developers of combat units. However, the modules made by these companies are designed exclusively for stationary mounting on combat vehicles. They weigh from 200 to 300 kg, and do not provide an option should the crew be forced to leave their vehicle and take their weapon with them.

“During recent training exercises, our airborne troops and the special forces of Egypt very clearly illustrated the current needs for mobility of weapons,” said Professor Vadim Kozyulin of the Academy of Military Sciences. “In one section of the training exercise, our Marines had to move through the desert on quad bikes, and the Egyptians on light jeeps. At a certain point in the training, they had to leave their vehicles and attack a special target. Here, our boys went into battle with their machine guns, while the Egyptians were forces to leave them behind on their vehicles, since they were permanently attached.

Kozyulin said until today, gyroscope-stabilized platforms were produced only in Germany and the United States.

“The main principle of work of the Special Operation Forces and special units of the Federal Security Service is “one shot - one target.” Therefore, the accuracy of the fire must be absolute. Regardless of whether they are on land vehicles, helicopters, boats, or storming a building,” said Kozyulin.

First published in Russian by Izvestia.

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