Pictured is China's new and first homemade high-precision sniper rifle, which fires 7.62 millimeter rounds. Photo: Screenshot of China Central Television. (Photo: Global Times)
China unveiled on Sunday details of its first homemade high-precision sniper rifle, a weapon that could replace the old rifle that has served the People's Liberation Army (PLA) for more than 20 years.
Capable of firing 7.62 millimeter rifle rounds with an effective range of 800 meters, the weapon has a full length of 1,150 millimeters and weighs 6.5 kilograms, state broadcaster China Central Television (CCTV) reported on Sunday, without announcing the gun's designation.
The gun is China's first ever high-precision sniper rifle, marking a significant breakthrough in the country's sniper development, the report said, noting that the term "high-precision" refers to the rifle's ability to accurately hit a target as small as a coin from a hundred meters.
It has already been delivered to the Chinese military, CCTV reported.
The structure of the rifle is simple, and only two parts of the gun - the magazine and the bolt - are field strippable. This simple design enabled a high level of craftsmanship, making the rifle more accurate, CCTV quoted Du Yue, a sniper instructor at the PLA 83rd Group Army, as saying.
A low light level image intensifier can be added to the sniper's scope so it can be operated at night.
Five customized 7.62 millimeter bullets can be loaded into the rifle's magazine. They are heavier than normal rifle rounds in order to ensure high accuracy, the report said.
China's first domestically developed sniper rifle, the QBU-88, has been in commission in the PLA for more than 20 years, CCTV said, noting that the old rifle no longer meets the requirements of modern warfare.
The QBU-88 uses 5.8 millimeter rounds, but the 7.62 millimeter rounds are more popular around the world because of their higher impact and accuracy, a Chinese military expert who preferred not to be named told the Global Times on Sunday.
CCTV also reported on another type of China's advanced sniper rifles, the QBU-10, which is 1,380 millimeters long and weighs 15 kilograms. It fires high-caliber rounds of 12.7 millimeters that can hit living targets 1,000 meters away and destroy armored targets 1,500 meters away.
The two types of sniper rifles can complete different missions and form an all-round combination, the expert said, noting that the high-precision rifle can make lethal attacks on infantry targets, while the high-caliber rifle can blow up light armored vehicles or enemies behind cover.