Azerbaijan designs new sniper rifle, machine gun

By Aynur Jafarova

The Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense Industry has created a new 7.62 x 51mm caliber sniper rifle meeting NATO standards, Minister Yaver Jamalov told reporters on Monday.

"The rifle's range is 1,000 meters, its magazine contains 10 bullets and it weighs 7.1 kilograms," the minister said.

Also, a machine gun designed for use in special military operations has been created, Jamalov said.

He noted that the machine gun's firing range is 1,000 meters. It weighs 7 kilograms and its length is 1,080 mm.

Moreover, work has been carried out to improve the 14.5mm caliber sniper rifle, he added.

"The sniper rifle's weight has been reduced from 35 to 28 kilograms and a number of technical changes have been made," Jamalov said.

He added, "Work is underway on the creation of a 23 mm caliber sniper rifle and its mass production is planned."

In addition, a new reconnaissance vehicle has been produced, Jamalov said.

"The enemy's land and air targets can be hit by this vehicle," he said. "This machine is equipped with a 23 mm caliber canon, a 7.62mm caliber twin machine gun mount, an AQ-17 grenade launcher and other military equipment," he said.

The minister emphasized that work is underway on armament with modernized armored vehicles built domestically.

"12.7, 14.5, 20, 23 and 30 mm caliber bullets are manufactured for these machines, meaning there is no need to purchase bullets from abroad," Jamalov said.

The ministry has developed a 15-barrel rocket fire system based on the MT LB machine, the minister said.

This system is designed to defeat enemy manpower, cover-ups and military equipment. The machine is equipped with 57 mm caliber rockets.

The minister went on to say that a new post-patrol Gurza machine has been created.

"This machine is equipped with two 7.62-mm caliber and one 12.7 mm caliber machine guns. The machine is designed for the law enforcement agencies," he said.

According to Jamalov, around 45 industrial facilities have been established and the production of more than 700 types of military goods was launched under the Azerbaijani Ministry of Defense Industry in the last seven years.

Azerbaijan produces more than 400 goods of civilian type, which are exhibited at international exhibitions every year, according to the minister.

"The Ministry of Defense Industry has participated in 10 international exhibitions of defense goods," he said.

125 goods, including various types of weapons and ammunition, UAVs, 12.7 mm and 14.5 mm "Istiqlal" sniper rifles made in Azerbaijan, were showcased at the latest international exhibition "IndoDefence 2012" in Jakarta, Indonesia.

The ministry exported goods worth 22 million manats ($28 million) this year.

Over the past five years, manufacturing of defense goods in Azerbaijan has increased 25-fold.

"During this period, the number of defense products has reached 700. This year the Ministry of Defense Industry concluded agreements on the production of 437 items of defense products," Jamalov said.

"The enterprises of the ministry fully mastered production and armament of armored vehicles and weapons of Matador and Marauder types. Production of modern unmanned aerial vehicles was launched in the country for the first time. AK-74M submachine guns are also successfully produced in the country," the minister said.

Jamalov also noted that the research institute of the ministry conducted scientific research on 11 topics this year and conducting research on 24 more topics in nine areas is also planned.

The ministry cooperates with more than 60 companies of the leading countries in areas such as aviation, navigation, instrument engineering and others.