Russians step up production of funky dart-firing ammo for underwater guns (VIDEO)
By Chris Eger
The Russians have been ready for undersea action since the 1970s and can now crank out as many as 10,000 dart-loaded rounds per day. (Photos: Russian Ministry of Defense)
Long considered essential beachwear for Russian frogman-types, production is ramping up for the special 4.5mm and 5.66 mm dart-projectile ammo used in the country’s underwater-capable guns.
Rosoboronexport, the state-owned arms trade company in Russian authorized to export defense goodies of all kinds, announced this week that their TSNIITOCHMASH engineering group has automated the process for cranking out the rather unique Cold War-era underwater cartridges, and can now make them at a rate of 10,000 daily.
Sergey Abramov, Rostec’s industrial director, said the new equipment would allow the output to “be enough to meet the demands of law enforcement agencies as regards this type of ammunition.”
The 4.5mm round fires a mild-steel flechette dart loaded atop a 39.5mm bottlenecked case and is used in the 4-shot SPP-1 pistol while the larger 5.66mm cartridge was designed for the APS rifle system.
The 4.5mm SPP-1 underwater round (Photo: Rostec)
The 5.66mm APS underwater cartridge fires a steel dart that runs almost 6-inches long. (Photo: Rostec)
Both the guns and the ammo they fire were invented by a team led by engineer