Key Point: No, it’s not a Terminator from Skynet — it’s Russia’s sniper rifle from the future, and is already on a battlefield near you.

New Tactics

In an Army report, observations about the conflict in eastern Ukraine — specifically tactics used by Russian snipers groups — are detailed.

“Russian Forces in Ukraine have employed snipers in elements up to platoon size. These units will operate on a small frontage of only several hundred meters. They will layer their assets in roughly three ranks with spacing determined by range of weapons systems and the terrain. The first rank will be composed of proxy forces trained as designated marksmen. Behind them will be a mixed force of better trained proxies/mercenaries and Russian soldiers. The final rank consists of highly trained snipers and will be the best equipped. All of these ranks focus on one target area together.”

While being pinned down by a sniper might not sound like a big deal in the 21st century, at a time when armed drones, hypersonic missiles, or laser weapons get lots of reporting attention, it’s nonetheless a big deal. Part of the problem is the sniper rifles themselves. The aforementioned report elaborated on the particular deadlines of the T-5000:

New Rifle

“During the rapid modernization of the Russian army after 2008, the Russian army made large purchases of western made sniper rifles to include the Barret and Arctic Warfare Magnum (AWM). The Russian company ORSIS also makes the T-5000, one of the most capable bolt action sniper rifles in the world. These are currently the signature weapons used by Russian snipers.”

According to the company website, The T-5000 comes in a variety of calibers, .308 Winchester.300 Win. Magnum, and .338 Lapua Magnum, among others. All of which are known for their accuracy at distance.

Keywords: from a distance. From a thousand (or several thousand) yards, a team of snipers could pin down an opposing force of a much larger number. And they wouldn’t even have to score any hits.

One of the main objectives of such a large, coordinated sniper team would not be to score any individual kills, but rather to severely restrict the movements of a much larger force, to the point where they are immobilized.

Once immobilized, artillery fire could be called in and directed by sniper teams with devastating effect.

Furthermore, multiple sniper teams, working in tandem, could direct enemy troop movements into specific channels, almost like sheepdogs, to direct enemy troops into ambushes or other obstacles.

Keep a Safe Distance

If the quality of the T-5000’s build is to believed, then it represents a break from Soviet and Russian rifle design, which has traditionally favored mass production and ruggedness over accuracy or build quality.

The same report outlines what to do if contact is made with one of these sniper squads: run, and break contact as quickly as possible. Otherwise, if a Russian bullet doesn’t get you, Russian artillery will.

Caleb Larson is a Defense Writer with The National Interest. He holds a Master of Public Policy and covers U.S. and Russian security, European defense issues, and German politics and culture. This article first appeared earlier this year and is reprinted due to reader interest.

Image: Vitaly V. Kuzmin / Wikimedia Commons

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You May Also Like

Stalin Planned a Massive Super Battleship Fleet. Why Didn’t the Russians Build It?

Key Point: There were only so many resources to go around in the Soviet Union. At the end of the Second World War, Soviet dictator Josef Stalin stood undisputed as the most powerful man in Eurasia. His Red Army had crushed…

Egypt’s Military Is Likely Headed Into Libya (And Turkey Is to Blame)

Egypt is preparing to deploy its army outside its borders for the first time in almost 30 years. At issue is Libya, where Turkey has intervened to support Prime Minister Fayez al-Sarraj, whose Tripoli-based government tilts to the Muslim Brotherhood…

This One Thing Limits China’s Ability to Become a Military Superpower

Key Point: The PLA has few personnel with firsthand combat experience. The Chinese military has almost no combat experience, analyst Timothy Heath wrote for the California think-tank RAND. But that inexperience might not matter very much, Heath explained. “Today, China’s military has an…

Why French Leclerc Tanks Have Been Seen Fighting in Yemen

Here’s What You Need to Remember: UAE tankers have conveyed to their French counterparts their satisfaction with the Leclerc. The armies of the coalition are reportedly “strongly impressed” by its performance. “So what do you think of France’s new super tank,…