The Kord Heavy Machine Gun is the latest in the long line of excellent Soviet/Russian heavy machine guns dating back to the dark days of World War 2. Design of the weapon began in the 1990s with production ramping up in 1998. Today, the Kord series has replaced the venerable 1970s-era "NSV" series in frontline use (itself a replacement for the World War 2-era ubiquitous DShK series) with Russian military forces and has been featured in a variety of roles throughout its relatively short career to date. The Kord Heavy Machine Gun has seen operational use with both Russian police forces as well as the military. Production of all Kord machine guns is handled out of the V.A. Degtyarev Plant in Russia.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the Soviet Army made extensive use of the NSV series of heavy machine guns across various deployments to counter threats from light armored vehicles, concentrations of dug-in enemy troops and low-flying aircraft - particularly helicopters and strike aircraft. From 1990 on, the vast hardships fell across most of the Soviet Union's political, social and economic fronts, forcing an all-out collapse of the empire and independence for its 15 republics. This worked to cut off some of the resources and production facilities the Soviet military had come to rely on as the Russian military budget was also curtailed and development of key systems was either stalled or canceled outright. Much Soviet production of the NSV series happened to center in the region of modern day Kazakhstan so those facilities were effectively dropped in the transition. Throughout the remainder of the decade, renewed Russian authorities charged the famed Degtyarev concern with design and development of a new modern heavy machine gun solution in the same vein as the NSV before it (including use of the Soviet-era 12.7x108mm cartridge, lightweight construction and a higher rate-of-fire). The result was the similarly-appearing Korg family of heavy automatic weapons that has since gone on to become a new Russian military standard - while the NSV continues service with former Soviet-allied nations today. The Korg HMG entered service with Russian forces in 1998 with production still ongoing.
The Kord Heavy Machine Gun is chambered to fire the large 12.7x108mm cartridge, a machine gun/heavy rifle round in large scale use since World War 2. In comparison, the Soviet 12.7x108mm is very comparable in scope and function to the western 12.7x99mm cartridge and, thusly, finds similar battlefield uses including that of suppression fire and anti-material/anti-armor roles. With that in mind, the Kord can therefore be utilized in-the-field as an offensive or defensive weapon depending on tactical requirements. As such, the Kord can serve in an infantry support role, a defensive role, as a vehicle-mounted weapon or as a coaxially mounted weapon on a tank (or similar armored vehicle).
The Kord fires from 50-round linked ammunition belts with an over-receiver feed tray. The action is of gas-operation with a rotating bolt, the gas "tapped" from a cylinder mounted underneath the barrel assembly. The Kord can manage a rate-of-fire equal to 650 to 750 rounds-per-minute with an effective range out to 6,500 feet, though targets can be engaged much further than that. Muzzle velocity is listed at 2,821 feet per second. Provided sights are iron though optics are optional for accurized fire. A bipod is standard issue in infantry versions. Operational weight of the Kord varies based on production model and can range from 55lbs to as much as 180lbs. The Kord measures in at 78 inches in length and is constructed to a high degree of reliability for the roles it must partake in on the modern battlefield are generally abusive and violent in their very nature. The Kord must therefore exude robustness and earn the respect of the Russian soldier or tanker crew.
The Kord Heavy Machine Gun is designated in Russian nomenclature as the "6P50" which represents the extremely basic infantry support variant. The infantry version with the supplied bipod is the "6P50-1". A similar tripod-mounted version is the "6P50-2" while the "6P50-3" is featured on a multipurpose mounting system. Two vehicle versions of the machine gun exist and these are the "6P49", for basic vehicle mounting, and the "6P51", this for coaxial mounting on tanks and similar enclosed armored vehicles. All told, the Kord series is a multi-faceted design developed specifically for the rigors of the modern battlefield and carries with it the inherent benefits of the NSV family with weight-saving construction and manageable recoil to serve the new Russian Army well for the next few decades.
Amazingly, the massive Kord (with help from a shoulder sling) can be fired "from the hip" (though with little accuracy) as documented on video, promoting a Terminator-esque type appearance for soldier and gun - a rare use of firepower among heavy-minded machine gun systems available in the world today.