MOSCOW, December 26 (RIA Novosti) - The Russian Defense Ministry will purchase new sniper rifles next year, Deputy Defense Minister Yury Borisov said on Wednesday.
Under the arms procurement program for 2013, Degtyarev 6S8-1 12.7-mm rifles will be bought for the Russian Armed Forces and from 2014 the ministry will start buying Dragunov 7.62-mm, VSS 9-mm and ASVK 12.7-mm rifles, as well as new optical-electronic sights he said.
The ministry will also consider buying Orsis rifles, he added.
Commenting on the procurement of arms and military equipment this year, Borisov said the Armed Forces will receive 40 warplanes, 127 helicopters, 34 air-defense radar stations, new air-defense missile systems and other equipment before the end of the current year.
Deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin earlier said Russia will soon start producing four new sets of sniper equipment, including surveillance and detection tools, means of suppression and passive protection for snipers.
The first set is designed for use at ranges up to 800 meters, the second – over 800 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 are overseeing the demands for weapons performance.
The Russian military is planning to deploy at least 1,000 snipers by 2016 to motorized rifle and tank brigades. They will be able to hit targets at a distance of 1-2 kilometers.
The next generation of snipers will be recruited from among contract servicemen and undergo long periods of training.
Last December, more than 30 Austrian-manufactured sniper rifles were adopted for service with Russia’s Airborne Forces special task units.
Those were the first foreign made rifles to be officially used by this branch of service.
The rifles were delivered under a 2010 contract. Judging from the specifications provided by the military, the rifle in question could be the Steyr-Mannlicher SSG-69, using 7.62mm rounds with a 10-round magazine and an effective range of more than 2,000 meters.