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Amphibious Assault Rifle [ 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.

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.©MilitaryFactory.com
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.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Russia national flag graphic


Amphibious Assault Rifle

National flag of Russia Russia
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Automatic Function
Features a mechanical function to automate the firing action.
Assault Rifle
Modern class of long gun featuring select-fire properties, automatic internal function, and magazine feeding.
Special Purpose
Special purpose weapon for a specially defined battlefield role.

Overall Length
620 mm
24.41 in
Barrel Length
430 mm
16.93 in

Iron Front and Rear; Optional Optics


Gas-Operated; Rotating Bolt; Dual-Feeding

Rotating Bolt
System utilizes internal mechanism to lock the breech or rear barrel assembly prior to firing.
Gas-operated system is featured, typically involving a gas cylinder and rear-driven piston directing energy to the bolt component.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)


5.45x39mm (surface)

Rounds / Feed

26- (underwater) or 30-round (surface) round magazine
Cartridge relative size chart
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources.
**Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.

ASM-DT - Base Series Designation

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Image of the ASM-DT (AAR)

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