by military expert Adalat Verdiyev
We would like to kick off our series with the “Istiglal” 14.5 mm anti-material rifle, first revealed at the “IDEAS-2008” International Defence Exhibition and Seminar in Karachi, Pakistan, in November 2008.
The “Istiglal” sniper rifle is a product of local experts at “Telemekhanika” Plant functioning under the MDI. It outshines its countertypes produced in CIS and NATO countries across several indicators.
“Istiglal” is the first national firearm produced by Azerbaijan. It is classified as a large-caliber sniper rifle, as this classification includes 9mm-20mm rifles. As a rule, these samples largely outstrip common sniper rifles in distance, efficiency, high muzzle energy, dimensions, weight, etc.
“Istiglal” has the capacity of exactly hitting the target from a long distance. The main objective of large-calibre sniper rifles is to disable hostile low flying or standing helicopters and planes, light-armoured and armourless equipment, protected fire points, observation tools of long-term fire points, unexploded aviation, artillery and engineering armaments, control, intelligence, communication and transportation means, as well as destroy the manpower, special officer and sniper personnel of the enemy.
At the moment the MDI possesses sufficient various solutions in this field. “Istiglal” is a recoil-operated, semi-automatic anti-materiel sniper rifle. It initially weighed 33 kg, but now boasts a weight of 20 kg. The weapons are 2015 mm long. The optic sight of the rifle can be magnified by 8 and is thus different from its similar models. With a target distance of 3 thousand meters, “Istiglal” is said to be operable in adverse weather such as rain and dirt with temperature ranges from 50 to -50 degrees Celsius. It can drill through a concrete fence from a distance of 2 thousand meters and has a dispenser magazine of 5 bullets.
The Istiglal can be taken down into 2 separate components for easy transportation. It is now being successfully used in the war zone by Azerbaijan Armed Forces. “Istiglal” has been showcased at various exhibitions and has spiked great interest among the exhibition audience.
Besides Azerbaijan, the Istiglal rifle is in use by Turkey, Pakistan, Bulgaria, Jordan and according to some sources by several CIS and NATO countries.