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Amphibious Assault Rifle

Russia | 2000

"The ASM-DT became a modernized replacement for the Cold War-era APS Underwater Assault Rifle."

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 10/03/2017 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.
The ASM-DT was developed as a combination assault rifle / underwater weapon to serve specialist Russian forces (these elements known as "frogmen"). The practice of underwater weapons is not a new one to Russian special forces for, during the latter half of the Cold War, Soviet operatives relied on the APS "Underwater Assault Rifle" which appeared in 1975. The weapon was a large, cumbersome system but became a proven underwater weapon. Its dual nature design also allowed for firing on land though its smoothbore barrel and dart-like projectile suffered accuracy. Additionally, barrel wear was drastically increased. Instead, operatives began favoring the earlier "SPP-1" underwater pistol series for underwater work and carried their trusty Kalashnikov AK-74 assault rifles for surface work - the obvious detriment being that operatives were now forced to carry two weapons into battle.

Due to the limitations of the APS line, there was a long standing requirement for a truer dual-purpose weapon that offered equal lethality whether used underwater or on land. Design work on a new weapon to fulfill this requirement fell to Professor Yuri Danilov who, throughout the 1990s, devised an all-new approach to meet the requirement. It was decided to provide the new weapon with a dual-feed system in which one feed accepted the Soviet 5.45x39mm cartridge (as in the AK-74 rifle) for land-based work and the other feed accepted the 5.45x39mm MGTS projectile for underwater firing. The underwater projectile utilized a dart-like body for basic piercing and was originally developed by Vladimir Simonov for the preceding APS rifle. In the earlier gun, the barrel could be forged as smoothbore but it was this quality that led to reduced accuracy for surface actions. The new weapon - christened as "ASM-DT" - was given a rifled barrel to suit both underwater and out of the water action with the barrel featuring specially designed channels to help drainage for land-based firing. A typical gas-operated/rotating bolt action was used for both ammunition types regardless of firing environment.

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Beyond its unique feed mechanism, the ASM-DT was largely a conventional automatic weapon given a rectangular receiver with a general form not unlike the famous Kalashnikov line of assault weapons. The pistol grip/trigger unit was underslung at the usual position under the receiver while the shoulder stock became a lightweight, two-strut skeletal structure with a padded butt for some comfort. The shoulder stock was designed to fold over the receiver along a hinge for a more compact profile. The dual-feed/dual-magazine design, appearing somewhat cumbersome due to its depth and odd shape, allowed for 30 rounds of 5.45x39mm cartridges to be carried along with 26 x underwater darts. Unlike the APS before it, the ASM-DT was developed with modern support features for tactical accessories like optics / aimers, a fore-grip, a sound suppressor, bayonet, and Under-Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL).

As far as is known, the ASM-DT is still an active component of modern Spetsnaz special forces. Its use in actual combat has become a closely-guarded secret over its decades-long use. The gun has been manufactured at the legendary Tula Arms arsenal.

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The physical qualities of the ASM-DT (AAR). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
620 mm
24.41 in
O/A Length
430 mm
16.93 in
Barrel Length
Gas-Operated; Rotating Bolt; Dual-Feeding
5.45x39mm (surface)
26- (underwater) or 30-round (surface) round magazine
Iron Front and Rear; Optional Optics
Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the ASM-DT (AAR). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
Notable series variants as part of the ASM-DT (AAR) Amphibious Assault Rifle family line.
ASM-DT - Base Series Designation
Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the ASM-DT (AAR). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): Tula Arms - Russia
National flag of Russia

[ Russia ]
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Image of the ASM-DT (AAR)

Design Qualities
Some designs are single-minded in their approach while others offer a more versatile solution to requirements.
Some designs stand the test of time while others are doomed to never advance beyond the drawing board; let history be their judge.
Going Further...
The ASM-DT (AAR) Amphibious Assault Rifle appears in the following collections:
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