If images circulating on Twitter are any indication, Russia is testing out an ammo-backpack for a giant gun called the Scorpio - developed by Front Tactical Systems, reportedly satisfying a request from the Russian military as a method of increasing machine gun efficiency, reports Task & Purpose citing The Firearm Blog. The setup is straight out of Predator, and is similar to a backpack-fed machine gun rigged by U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Vincent Winkowski in 2011 during a 2 1/2 hour firefight in Afghanistan.
The Russian PKP Pencheneg machine gun is nearly four feet long and fires 7.62x54mm ammo at 600-800 RPM. Here's one being fired without the fancy backpack:
And here's the Scorpion (h/t TheFirearmBlog)
As mentioned earlier, Russia's new backpack-fed system is similar to one developed by a U.S. Army Staff Sgt. in Afghanistan:
The United States previously developed a similar system when the inventive U.S. Army Staff Sgt. Vincent Winkowski threw together a backpack-fed machine gun on the battlefield during a firefight with the 1st Battalion, 133rd Infantry Regiment, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 34th Infantry Division, Iowa National Guard in Afghanistan in October 2011, citing the M-134 backpack-fed minigun touted by Ventura’s Sgt. Blain Cooper in the 1987 action classic. -Task & Purpose
"When we first arrived in theater in late October (2010), we were issued the Mk 48 7.62 mm machine guns," Winkowski said. "This was a new piece of equipment for us, and we struggled to come up with a solution for carrying and employing ammunition for it due to our small size and the inability to have a designated ammo bearer, as is common doctrine with the M240B."
"The ammunition sacks that came with it made it too cumbersome and heavy to carry over long, dismounted patrols and especially when climbing mountains. Initially, we came up with using 50-round belts and just reloading constantly, which led to lulls of fire and inefficiency."
So Winkowski grabbed an old ALICE (all-purpose lightweight individual carrying equipment) frame, welded two ammunition cans together -- one atop the other after cutting the bottom out of the top can -- and strapped the fused cans to the frame. To that he added a MOLLE (modular, lightweight load-carrying equipment) pouch to carry other equipment. -Army.mil
That led to the U.S. Army's IronMan system:
Russia's other development, shockingly, is an electrified shield.
Unveiled by Russia's Interior Ministry and dubbed "Skala" (which means "rock"), the shield offers as much protection as a traditional shield - only it contains a labyrinth of conductors on its exterior which can deliver a shocking jolt to rioters.
The shield, produced by Mart Group, which specializes in non-lethal law enforcement equipment, is available in two varieties. One version has a built-in shocker which allows the shield to be carried and operated with one hand, as just described. The other version has a detachable shocker, which allows the officer to grip the shield with both hands, and detach and use the shocker like a stun gun or electric prod when needed. -Sputnik
The shields, expected to enter service around the end of the year have an option of a self-extinguishing coating as well which protects law enforcement officers from Molotov cocktails.
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