MOSCOW. (RIA Novosti military commentator Ilya Kramnik)
On October 28-31, Moscow hosted the Interpolitech-2008 international arms exhibition featuring the most advanced Russian and foreign-made military and specialized equipment for police and secret services.
Equipment purchases for national security agencies and secret services were also announced.
UAZ Patriot scout vehicles and unmanned aerial vehicles for the Russian Federal Security Service's border troops and state-of-the-art liquid-crystal displays from Belarus and many other systems were displayed.
However, the star of the show was the PP-2000 conventional blowback operated submachine gun developed in the early 2000s by the famous Instrument Design Bureau (KBP) in Tula, a city 193 km (120 miles) south of Moscow.
The PP-2000 became wildly popular after the government announced its plans to equip the Interior Ministry's special units with this hard-hitting weapon. It has the following specifications: length (stock closed/open) - 34/58.2 cm, weight - 1.4 kg, effective range - 50-100 meters, and magazine capacity - 20 to 30 rounds.
Unlike the Kalashnikov AKS-74U assault rifle with a 50cm folded-stock length, the PP-2000 can be concealed. This is an ideal police weapon capable of firing handgun cartridges with a lower muzzle velocity. Consequently, the chances of ricochet are minimized.
The PP-2000 can also fire 9x19 7N31 armor-piercing cartridges against body armor and motor vehicles.
Like many other Russian weapons, the easy-to-use PP-2000 has a rudimentary design for quick maintenance and repairs. All production versions are fitted with Picatinny rail for installing various sighting devices.
They have begun producing PP-2000s for the Interior Ministry's special units. The authorities will have no trouble requisitioning and issuing these sturdy and convenient weapons to its patrolmen, traffic police and other units.
Consequently, it will become possible to equip drivers/mechanics, surface-to-air missile (SAM) system operators, gunners and other military personnel with AKS-74U assault rifles, which are smaller than full-size Kalashnikov rifles and are more effective than handguns or submachine guns.
Apart from weapons and special equipment for police and secret-service units, the exhibition featured civilian products, including numerous cold-steel weapons and fearsome-looking "household knives."
Large companies and self-employed businessmen displayed hunting and carving knives, as well as intricate Damascus-steel weapons with lavishly decorated wooden handles.
Motorists came to see SUVs assembled by GAZ Group in Nizhny Novgorod and the Ulyanovsk Automotive Plant (UAZ) and the less popular Trekol cars.
UAZ showed its conventional and armored command vehicles and the Bars and Patriot SUVs used by the border troops and the Interior Ministry.
A border force spokesman said there was no alternative to UAZ vehicles in Russia, and that they would continue to order them. The border troops operate upgraded UAZ SUVs instead of production vehicles.
The exhibition also featured the Lavina (Avalanche) riot-control vehicle with water cannons for dispersing aggressive crowds. Some production vehicles featured various types of additional equipment. An UAZ Bukhanka (Bread Loaf) SUV with an electric theft-prevention system will give any car thief the jolt of his life.
Well-informed sources said the public may soon get to see classified equipment displayed at several pavilions closely guarded by Federal Security Service operatives.
The opinions expressed in this article are the author's and do not necessarily represent those of RIA Novosti.