A state-run news organ released an interesting video this week showing Russian and Belarusian special operations members at a pool party that included a rather odd undersea gun.
In the above (subtitled) broadcast from Vesti News, reporting from Ryazan, which is home to the country’s airborne and commando schools, a really amped up reporter goes for a swim with a group of frogmen in training. Besides cruising around a pool designed to mimic a warship at anchor and leaping off a dive platform high enough to change your views on organized religion, the video shows off the loading and firing of an APS underwater rifle on a specially made submerged range.
The APS has been in the Soviet, now-Russian, arsenal since the 1970s and fires a special 5.66x120mm steel dart loaded in a 39mm long cartridge designed to perforate wetsuit-clad adversaries at close range. The gun is readily identified by the “АПС” receiver marking seen at about the 2:16 mark in the Vesti footage.
The interesting part about this is the Russians, evidently always looking for a better mousetrap when it comes to fighting 20,000 leagues under the sea, have been hard at work on at least two different designs to replace the APS in recent years– namely the more versatile ADS and ASM-DT. Guess the old tried-and-true dart guns still work just fine until then.