Russia’s Chukavin Sniper Weapon and the Future in the Field

  • The Chukavin rifle is expected to replace the Dragunov weapon.
  • It is part of Russian Project RATNIK.
  • The Dragunov rifle was chosen as the base, which was upgraded to meet the requirements of the tactical and technical task needs.

Previously, JSC Kalashnikov presented a semi-automatic sniper rifle Chukavin Sniper Rifle or SVCh. It is much  more than just a rifle. The SVCh is a promising platform for the entire line of small arms. The Chukavin Sniper Rifle is expected to replace the Kalashnikov rifle. The semi-automatic Chukavin is also slated to replace the Dragunov sniper rifle, a semi-automatic sniper/designated marksman rifle chambered in 7.62×54mmR and developed in the Soviet Union. (VIDEO)

JSC Kalashnikov Concern, known until 2013 as the Izhevsk Machine-Building Plant, is a Russian defense manufacturing concern and joint-stock company headquartered in the city of Izhevsk in the Republic of Udmurtia as well as the capital city of Moscow.  The chief designer of the  JSC Kalashnikov is Sergey Urzhumtsev.

The AK-47, officially known as the Avtomat Kalashnikova, is a gas-operated, 7.62×39mm assault rifle, developed in the Soviet Union by Mikhail Kalashnikov. It is the originating firearm of the Kalashnikov rifle family. 47 refers to the year it was finished. Design work on the AK-47 began in 1945.


Moreover, the SVCh is the final development of Project Ratnik: the competition to create a new semi-automatic sniper rifle. The Dragunov rifle was chosen as the base, which was upgraded to meet the requirements of the tactical and technical task needs.

However, it became clear to the designers that in the future it will no longer meet the modern requirements of combat and that they will need to improve the ergonomic parameters of the weapon.

Chukavin Rifle.

The project includes full tactical gear of the future. It will be able to change color to match the color of the area, like a chameleon. Cameras and monitors built into the helmet allow the soldier to monitor the battle in real time, get a “picture” of the current situation from satellites and drones.

Exoskeletons help military personnel carry loads weighing up to 130 kg at a distance of up to 15 kilometers. The essence of this technology was that a special sight was installed on the regular weapons of the soldier, which was equipped with an accelerometer to determine the position of the weapon in space relative to the soldier’s head; a video camera combined with a thermal imager and a laser rangefinder with an interface for determining the coordinates and applying a marker to the target.

In turn, the soldier’s helmet was equipped with a special visor with a thin-film or projection display, which displayed the image coming from the sight, the coordinates of the soldier, the direction of the line of sight of regular weapons with ballistic corrections (depending on the type of weapon and ammunition), as well as the marker of the goal that the soldier set. Other information from the tactical computer was also displayed, which is necessary for the soldier to successfully solve the set combat tasks.

Project RATNIK Russia’ military gear of the future.

Many nations have new equipment for the “future soldier”:

USA (Air Solider, TALOS, etc)


GERMANY (Infanterist der Zukunft, Soldat im Einsatz)


UK  (Future Integrated Soldier Technology — FIST)

ITALY  (Soldato Futuro);

JAPAN  (Аdvanced Personal Armament System)

According to Sergey Urzhumtsev:

“We immediately decided not to limit ourselves to the classic 7.62 cartridges, but to provide for the possibility of switching to large calibers, such as 9.3 x 64 or the equivalent of 338 LM. The scheme had to be universal and work both with low-pulse cartridges to become the basis for the machine gun of the future, and with rifle cartridges of classic and large calibers. And if any classical scheme is suitable for low-pulse and classic rifle cartridges, then when switching to large calibers, you need to apply some new solutions. Three working groups were created to debug solutions.

The first machine, the second is a rifle based on the classic drum layout automation, and the third is a rifle based on alternative schemes. The basis for the new layout was chosen carriage scheme, implemented earlier Izhevsk gunsmith Gennady Nikonov in the an-94. In this scheme, the firing unit, which combines the barrel and receiver elements, moves relative to the fixed carriage. The developers, the use of this scheme in the rifle would reduce the recoil when firing large-caliber cartridges.

The result of the first group’s work was samples of SMALL-size am and AMB submachine guns, which, along with the microwave rifle, were demonstrated by Kalashnikov concern at the Army-2017 forum, the second group came out with experimental samples of three-gauge microwave rifles, and the third group’s work was stopped. It was not possible to circumvent the laws of physics, we got an unjustified increase in weight and almost double the parameters of the scattering of shots compared to the classical scheme”

The weapon is a strong contender and the future opportunities are endless with new added technology.

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Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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