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Russia is developing a new sniper rifle within the framework of the Ugolyok project. The new bi-caliber sniper rifle and its ammunition load will be created using solely domestic materials and components. The system that will be ready in four years will be chambered for Russian rounds, although it will have NATO calibers: .308 Winchester (7.62×51 mm) and the more powerful .338 Lapua Magnum (8.6×70 mm).
“The Institute [TsNIITochMash – part of the state corporation Rostec] is carrying out work on new sniper systems under a technical assignment from the Defense Ministry,” the Chief Designer for the Ratnik Soldier Gear Oleg Nekrasov said. “It will be necessary to develop new rifles, new sights and new cartridges in NATO calibers, new gunpowder and new detonators,” he added.
Six different rifle prototypes are currently undergoing tests as part of this experimental design work, according to tass.com.
TsNIITochMash earlier carried out similar experimental design work for special services but the requirements set by the Defense Ministry are tighter. “They [the special services] employ a somewhat different approach towards complete sets than the Defense Ministry, which has set tight conditions for us: no imported components,” the TsNIITochMash chief executive explained.
The Ugolyok is being developed not as a replacement for the Dragunov sniper rifle, he emphasized.