M16, the “Doublet” and “Knuckles”: the pros and cons of ten Ukrainian weapons innovations

The state enterprise “Ukroboronprom” in the near future is ready to organize production in Ukraine small arms on the American assault rifle M16. It will be conducted jointly with the American Corporation Aeroscraft, which specializiruetsya on the creation of a variety of aircraft — airships and balloons. In addition to rifles, Ukroboronprom has developed a number of innovations, but their use, as well as the Ukrainian version of the American assault rifles, makes experts doubt.

A VISITOR FROM UNITED STATES. That in Ukraine will be a version of the American M16 assault rifle, became known in early 2017. According to the state concern “Ukroboronprom”, the weapon will be produced under license issued by the U.S. government, together with the American company Aeroscraft. “Ukraine is facing the challenge of transition to NATO standards, and the new assault rifle should be a real rifle system that will meet the standards adopted in the armies of the Alliance”, — explained in “Ukroboronprom”, noting that the Ukrainian version of the M16 will be produced under the name WAC-47.

Assault rifle M16 manufactured in the USA since 1960. During the Vietnam war it was revealed a number of shortcomings. The main problem of this rifle, compared to, for example, with a Kalashnikov, is the low reliability in cases, if a fighter cannot follow her carefully to care (this situation is quite likely in the field). However, “American” is very popular — it has produced more than 8 million copies of various modifications of the M16 that are adopted in more than 80 countries.

The M16 in the US army. In Ukraine can not settle down

Mainly used in the M16 ammunition 5.56 mm was adopted in the NATO countries. But “Ukroboronprom” noted that in the production of WAC-47 will apply a modular design that allows you to change the barrels for different calibers. For example, under Soviet variants of ammo 5. 45×39 and 7. 62×39 currently in use in Ukrainian army.

However, experts doubt that the Soviet ammunition accustomed on the American platform. “Cartridge 7. 62×39 is impossible to use without altering the bottom of the rifle where the firing mechanism and the mine. This is detrimental to modular design WAC-47. American company trying to solve the issue and did not create a serial instance. The resulting prototypes they called “mutants”. Where in Ukraine you can find engineers to address these deficiencies is unclear. Especially when you consider that the company Aeroscraft is still made of aircraft — airships and balloons,” — says military expert Yuri Povkh.

He also noted that the cartridge caliber 7, 62×39 in 1943 has poor performance, because of what the Soviet army gradually switched to the 5.45. In addition, according to the Povkh, manufacture of 7.62 mm ammunition in Ukraine practically did not develop, and the only relevant enterprise — the Lugansk cartridge plant was lost due to the war in the Donbass. “Yes, and who ever decided that we need a outdated cartridge on a platform that is ill-suited for its application”, — said Yuri Povkh.

Director, information and consulting company defense Express Serhiy Zgurets also notes the importance of quality ammunition. “The war in the East showed that the old Soviet munitions that are in service with the Ukrainian army, could not fight effectively with the latest PPE that are used by the Russians. But we are very limited in the procurement of high-tech munitions abroad. It is therefore very important to establish their own production”, — said Zgurets.

“Ukroboronprom”, however, assured that are ready to build a new ammunition plant, not later than 18 months after the beginning of public funding.

MIN NO. With the shortage of ammunition and could face another novelty from “Ukroboronprom” — the 60-mm mortar BAF 118 developed in 2016. Yuri Povkh considers it very useful: “war on the Donbass people have repeatedly told me that the light mortar is very cool! Of course, 82-mm and 120-mm mortars are more effective, but when the means of artillery reconnaissance stepped far forward, you need to increase mobility. You can do this either by putting heavy mortars on wheels, or attending to their design”.

However, according to the expert, the enterprise for the production of minutes after the collapse of the Soviet Union remained in Russia. By the way, now it is experiencing its new developments on areas controlled by the rebels of Ukraine. “We have no plants for the production of ammunition for automatic easel grenade launchers, grenade launchers and RPGs, and also jet systems of volley fire”, — said Povkh.

Note that the fighting in the Donbass Ukraine is the old Soviet stockpiles, filling them, and by purchasing the former Warsaw Pact countries that have fallen to NATO standards.

“ALDER,” AND OTHERS. The lack of ammunition for the MLRS Ukraine, however, able to overcome by upgrading the existing systems of volley fire. As already reported, “Today,” in 2016, we began testing a new domestic rocket complex “Alder”. It uses precision-guided rocket, developed by the Kiev KB “Ray”, which starts with the Soviet 300-mm MLRS “Smerch”. Expert on defense industry, former General Director of “Ukroboronprom” Maxim Glushchenko said Ukrainian projects of high-precision weapons is the most promising. “After a year or two, with adequate funding, the new missiles could begin flowing to the troops,” said Mr. Glushchenko.

In addition to “Alder” and 60-mm mortar in 2016 GP “Ukroboronprom”, the initiative has developed several new products. According to the press service of the enterprise, is a light transport aircraft an-132, created by the company “Antonov” in the interests of Saudi Arabia, unmanned aircraft system “Turtledove” combat robot “the Phantom”, reminiscent of the little six-wheeled armored personnel carrier, a digital fire control system “Hunter”, as well as three combat module is designed for installation on armored vehicles.

As already I wrote “Today”, “Turtledove” and “Phantom” was presented in early autumn. “A turtledove”, which is positioned as a attack drone, developed at the company “Antonov” at their own expense, which is not enough. According to estimates Maxim Glushchenko, only the initial investment can be up to $30 million “we Need to solve many more problems. They relate to the weapons that will carry the drone, as well as communication systems and other electronics. These problems common to all Ukrainian producers of UAVs. The larger the aircraft the greater problem: the number of foreign components can reach 80%,” — said the expert. The problem of the organization of protected communication channels relevant to the Phantom, otherwise the machine may be intercepted by the enemy.

Another element of robotic troops is a digital fire control system “Hunter”, which was tested in December 2016. The system was installed on the upgraded BMP-1 UMD, allowing you to use the machine in remote mode.

Ukrainian snake. Fighting module “Taipan” on the armored car HURON is named after a very poisonous snake

Three combat module for armored vehicles called “Taipan”, “Duplet” and “Knuckles”. Fighting module “Taipan” (also referred to as a very poisonous Australian snake) was first presented at the exhibition ADEX-2016. It was installed on the armored HURON. “Taipan” aircraft equipped with two 23-mm cannons. Fighting module “Knuckles”, consisting of 30-mm gun paired with 7.62-mm machine gun, 30mm grenade launcher and anti-tank systems “Barrier”, was presented at the SOFEX exhibition in 2016 in Jordan. System mounted on tracked armored personnel carriers “Scorpion”, which is very interested in the king of Jordan, who was convinced that now the Scorpio can destroy tanks and low-flying helicopters. Two 30-mm cannons armed and “Duplet”. It can be seen at the exhibition “Arms and security-2016”, which was held in mid-October in Kiev.