Russia has confirmed that it is working on what it calls "special shrapnel" ammunition for use by 30 mm and 57 mm cannons, with the latter likely developed with a view to engaging unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
The work is being carried out by Russia's NPO Pribor research and industrial association, which is affiliated with Rostec subsidiary TechMash (Russia's largest ammunition manufacturer), and is still in its early stages, with no projected initial operational capability (IOC) as yet.
The new Russian 57 mm ammunition will probably be along similar lines to the Rheinmetall Air Defence Oerlikon AHEAD (Advanced Hit Efficiency and Destruction) 35 mm ammunition, which is used by a number of air defence weapons. AHEAD 35 mm is programmed as it leaves the weapon and contains a number of small submunitions that are ejected at the correct time of flight in front of the target.
The Russian 57 mm round would be for a new mobile air defence weapon that is currently being developed as the Derivatsiya - PVO anti-aircraft artillery system, or ZAK-57. This is based on a modified BMP-3 infantry fighting vehicle fitted with a brand new turret.
The Derivatsiya's 57 mm cannon is probably the same as that installed in the ASU-220M Baikal remote-controlled turret (RCT), which has been developed by the Burevestnik Central Research Institute, part of the UralVagonZavod group. The ASU-220M RCT is also armed with a 7.62 mm PKTM co-axial machine gun (MG) and the weapons are coupled to a computerised fire control system (FCS), with both crew members provided with stabilised day/night sights incorporating a laser rangefinder.
The AU-220M turret has already been shown installed on a modified BMP-3 IFV hull and has been marketed to a number of countries overseas, especially in the Middle East.
Russian sources have confirmed that in addition to firing conventional natures of 57 mm ammunition it was also fire a guided 57 mm round to enable targets to be engaged at ranges beyond the 57 mm weapon's direct-fire range, which is quoted as 12 km when fired horizontally and up to 8 km when fired vertically.
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