Russia developing electronic sights for small arms and machine guns

Russian industry is developing a wide range of new electronic sights for small arms and machine guns, according to state corporation Rostec.
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The sight is specially designed for mounted heavy automatic weapons, primarily Kord 12.7mm machine gun that can be mounted on armored vehicles, boats and helicopters. The sight enables to effectively engage targets when firing from a moving base – helicopter, boats or vehicle (Picture source: Ruselectronics)

On May 11, Rostec unveiled the first Russian red dot sight for mounted heavy machineguns (HMGs). The device, which has been developed by the Roselektronika holding (Rosel, a subsidiary of Rostec), is initially intended for the Kord-family 12.7 mm HMG; however, it can be installed on other machineguns chambered for high-caliber cartridges. "The sight allows [an operator of] an HMG, which is mounted on a moving platform, namely, an armored vehicle, a boat, or a helicopter, to engage targets in an effective manner," said the press department of Rostec. According to the corporation, the new ruggedized red dot sight withstands heavy recoils and increases the accuracy of firing and the speed of aiming.

The sight has a wide field-of-view (20°) and a sighting mark adjustment mechanism that allows accurate firing at distances of 400 m, 800 m, and 1,200 m. "The device has been developed by Rosel’s Tsiklon [Cyclone] research-and-scientific institute," noted the Rostec’s press department.

"Initially, the sight has been developed for mounted heavy automatic weapons, namely, the Kord 12.7 mm HMG that can be integrated into the armament suites of armored vehicles, boats, and helicopters <…> A shooter can control and engage targets at distances of more than 1,000 m, using our new development; moreover, the sight’s wide field of view will prevent him from losing any target. According to the results of trials, the sight increases the accuracy of firing by several times," said a spokesperson for Rosel.

The Russian military is reported to be operating the 1PN63 1x red dot sight that has been designed by the Novosibirsk Instrument Plant (NPZ; a subsidiary of Rostec’s Shvabe holding). Basically, the 1P63 is a ruggedized sight, which is intended for Russian-designed small arms with a side-mounted (‘dovetail’) attaching lug; however, NPZ produces a commercially available variant of the sight with a MIL-STD-1913 Picatinny rail. The 1P63 has a field-of-view of 13° and weighs some 0.6 kg. It can be operated at temperatures between -50 °C and +50 °C, with air humidity reaching 100%. The 1P63 is a commercial off-the-shelf piece of equipment, which is being offered by Russia’s arms exporting company Rosoboronexport (a subsidiary of Rostec) for export-oriented Kalashnikov-family assault rifles and general-purpose machineguns.

Russia’s industry also largely invests in the development of thermal imaging cameras. In March, Rostec announced the completion of the development of the first indigenous cooling thermal imager. The device has several modifications, including special ones. The thermal imager can be the cornerstone of onboard observation systems, man-portable devices, and stationary observation complexes. The new thermal imager features the structures of quantum well-infrared photodetector (QWIP) and has been fitted with a 640x512 matrix and a diffractive infrared optics-based infrared camera lens. "The device can effectively recognize objects at a distance of no less than 3,500 m in a 10.5°x7.8° field-of-view," Rostec claims. The new system has also been designed by the Tsiklon institute.

Rostec has also developed the Sych-15 (Horned Owl 15) calibration device for both Russian-made and foreign thermal imagers. According to the industrial director of the corporation’s radio-electronic cluster Sergei Sakhnenko, Rostec and its subsidiaries are ready to produce up to 3,000 Sych-15 calibrators on a monthly basis.

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