Russian soldiers to receive next-gen ammunition with enhanced piercing power

Russian soldiers will receive next-generation small arms ammunition within the Ratnik soldier system, the TASS news agency reported on 2 March.

Russia’s TsNIITochMash (part of the state hi-tech corporation Rostec) has developed more powerful 5.45mm rounds and their version with the increased density of fire during its work on the next-generation Ratnik soldier gear, TsNIITochMash General Designer for the Ratnik Outift Igor Nekrasov said on Friday.

“As part of the Ratnik experimental design work, the 7N39 and 7N40 rounds have been developed: one with the increased density of fire and the other with the enhanced piercing power,” Nekrasov said.

As the chief designer of the Ratnik combat gear specified, “the new 7N39 cartridge pierces the 2P armor plate at a range of 50-70 m while the 7N40 round has increased the density of its fire by 1.5 times compared to the traditional round.”

According to the current information, the 7N39, know as ‘Igolnik’, is a newly developed cartridge with an armor piercing bullet. The core of the bullet is peaked from an alloy of tungsten carbide (92%) and cobalt (8%), produced by pressing metal powders, followed by sintering.

Sources familiar with the matter say the 7N39 ‘Igolnik’ capable of punching a 5 mm steel armored plate at a range of 550 meters.

It is a new generation of Russian small arms ammunition considerably excel available Soviet-era munitions.

The Ratnik is a system of advanced protective and communication equipment, weapons and ammunition. It comprises around 40 protective and life support elements and allows a soldier to get continuously updated information about the situation in the combat area. In addition, the Ratnik includes a self-contained heater, a backpack, an individual water filter, a gas mask and a medical kit.

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