Russian Instrument Design Bureau (KBP) is developing the KSV heavy sniper system for the Russian Armed Forces.
The Russian military is planning to arm the snipers of its infantry and armored brigades with the sniper rifles capable of rendering armored cars and armored personnel carriers inefficient and killing mortar, antitank missile system and man-portable air defense system crews with a single shot of its 23-mm ammunition.
The heavy sniper rifle is on the 2020 Army Small Arms Development List, a Defense Ministry official close to the issue has told the Izvestia daily, TASS Defence reported today.
KBP (a subsidiary of High-Precision Systems Corp.) is designing the sniper system and once the rifle has been made and has passed the factory and official tests, a decision will be made on its service entry.
The program is expected to take two to three years.
The weapon actually will be a sniper system, rather than simply a large-caliber sniper rifle, because systems with the caliber in excess of 20 mm are small-caliber cannons, rather than small arms under the international weapon classification.
“The company expected to make the first prototype of the KSV in 2017,” Alexei Sorokin, director of the Central Design and Research Bureau of Sporting and Hunting Weapons (an affiliate of KBP), has told the Izvestia daily.
"We are at the most difficult stage of the work now - the development of the round for the new system," Sorokin added.
The round will be based on the so-called necked-down case of the 30-mm round of an automatic gun and the 23-mm round of an antiaircraft gun. A bullet with a very high ballistic coefficient has been designed too.
“We expect to complete the design documentation, start making the KSV and launch the development tests in the course of 2017.” He added.
However, the weapon will be pretty large, measuring almost 2 m, and rather weighty, because it will have to offset the hard kick produced by the 23-mm round. Sorokin stressed that although the KSV’s round could not punch through the thick armor of main battle tanks, one bullet was still enough to render them inefficient.
"Now, the development of sniper rifles with a caliber close to 20 mm is high on the small-arms agenda of many countries," military expert Alexei Leonkov added. Such rifles are heavier than the standard in-service 12.7-mm systems, he added.