Over 1000 Marine Commandos of India are being equipped with a Russian light sniper rifle for surprise and undercover or clandestine operations. The Times of India had recently reported that the Marcos will also have air-droppable rubberized inflatable boats, remotely-operated underwater vehicles for explosive disposal, combat free-fall parachutes, hands-free power ascenders and opposed boarding equipment and two “midget submarines” under a Rs 2,017 crore project.
Vintorez Special Silent Sniper Rifle can be easily concealed for undercover or clandestine operations. It can be conveniently stripped down for transport in a specially fitted briefcase. The 9mm Russian VSS rifle is designed to destroy manpower wearing body armor and riding soft vehicles when a silent and flameless fire is required. The VSS is light in weight at 2.6 kg and combined with above-mentioned equipment adds a whole new dimension to the capabilities of MARCOS.
The rifle fires 9x39mm SP-5 subsonic sniper cartridges or SP-6 cartridges. SP-5 rounds have similar performance to SP-6 rounds with less penetration but much lower air resistance, allowing them to maintain their velocity for a longer distance before dropping. So while SP-5 is better at sniper work, SP-6 is superior in piercing military type body armor.
SP-5 cartridge does not generate a sonic boom. The bullet of this cartridge weighs about twice as much as that of the 9×19mm Parabellum, giving it a muzzle energy about twice as high.
The ammunition is very effective at penetrating body armor as it is equipped with a hardened steel or tungsten tip. It can penetrate a 6 mm high-density steel plate at 100 m, and a 2 mm steel plate or a standard army helmet at 500 m. However, the rifle is typically employed under 400 m.
The rifle is gas-operated. The breechblock is locked by six recoil lugs. The hammerless trigger assembly provides for single-shot and full-automatic fire. The built-in silencer considerably reduces the speed and temperature of expansion gases. As a result the report is some 130 dB, which corresponds to that of a small-caliber sporting rifle. The suppressor can be easily removed for storage or maintenance, but the VSS should not be fired without the suppressor.
The rifle is fitted with the PSO-1-1 four-fold magnification optical sniper sight, with illuminated crosshairs. The standard attachment, mounted on the left side of the receiver, can be used for fitting various optical and night sights. The rounds are fed from a 10-round double-column box-type magazine, interchangeable with the 20-round magazines of the 9mm AS special assault rifle and the 9mm AM (SR3) small-size assault rifle.
The VSSM (ВССМ) GRAU 6P29M is the most modern iteration of the VSS rifle featuring an aluminum buttstock with an adjustable cheek and butt pad. Additionally, it is fitted with Picatinny rail on the top of the dust cover and sides and bottom of the suppressor
Caliber – 9mm
Cartridge – 9x39mm SP-5 or SP-6
Muzzle velocity – 282-292 m/s
Rate of fire – 700 rounds/minute
Effective range of fire :
with optical sight -400m
with night sight-300m
Weight without sight, with an empty magazine, -2.6kg
Length – 894mm
Barrel Length – 200mm
Magazine capacity – 10 rounds