It goes without saying that special forces elements require equally-special tools for their trade. Case-in-point is the ADS "amphibious" assault rifle issued to underwater operatives / "frogmen" of the Russian military. Designed throughout the 2000s, the weapon was introduced in or around 2013 and is manufactured by the KBP Instrument Design Bureau. The ADS follows other Soviet Cold War-era weapons of similar design focus (and battlefield role) - namely the SPP-1 underwater pistol and the APS underwater assault rifle, both products being detailed elsewhere on this sight.
Like many other modern assault weapon systems, the ADS makes use of the "bullpup" configuration. This sets the feed mechanism and action to the rear of the gun, allowing a full-length barrel to be retained while also promoting a shorter overall length for such a service "long gun". Balance of the weapon is shifted, of course, and there is the running risk of a hand passing over the now-closer muzzle, but the design arrangement is proving ever-popular with tactical gun makers today with a bevy of firearms being made in this image.
The ADS is a true "amphibious design" in that it has strong performance underwater and on land. The key to the effectiveness if utilization of two different cartridges specifically designed for their role - the 5.45x39mm PSP cartridge serves the weapon when underwater and the 5.45x39mm M74 cartridge serves the weapon when on land. This is of note for earlier underwater weapons suffered from very reduced performance once on land - the cartridge switch of the ADS allows one weapon system to inherently cover two battlefield roles with no loss in performance or reduced service life of the weapon. The gun uses the standard AK-74 curved detachable box magazine carrying thirty ready-to-fire cartridges.
The internal action is of a proven gas-operation with rotating bolt system and a rate-of-fire of 700 rounds-per-minute is possible. Maximum firing range is 500 meters on land with basic sighting made possible with the standard iron sights. A short section of Picatinny rail over the carrying handle allows for various optics and aimers to be fitted as needed. The weapon has a muzzle velocity of 900 meters-per-second (in above-water firing). Overall weight is 4.6 kilograms with an overall length of 685mm. The barrel assembly measures 418mm long.
Beyond the aforementioned accessories, the weapon also mounts an Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) system of 40mm caseless caliber for on-land use. The muzzle of the rifle can also accept a suppressor for clandestine work making it something of an all-in-one solution for SPECOPS personnel (including SPETSNAZ forces).
The outward design of the gun is more or less traditional with few exposed parts. The accessories rail sits atop the carrying handle. The shoulder stock is solid and has the magazine well positioned under. The pistol grip is set just ahead of the magazine with a large trigger ring for use by a gloved hand. The grenade launcher is then seated ahead of the trigger unit. The barrel sits over this fitting in the usual way. The result is a relatively compact and easy-to-handle weapon suitable for any special operative requiring the capabilities of a do-everything weapon system - taking the fight from water to land.
The ADS is known to be in-service with elements of Russian Naval special operations units who tested the weapon extensively prior to its adoption.