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QBS-06

Underwater assault rifle

QBS-06 underwater assault rifle

The QBS-06 is a clone of the Russian APS, but has a number of modifications

 
 
Country of origin China
Entered service 2006
Caliber 5.8 mm
Weight (empty) ~ 2.5 kg
Weight (loaded) 3.15 kg
Length ~ 820 mm
Length (with folded stock) 680 mm
Barrel length ?
Muzzle velocity ?
Cyclic rate of fire (air) ~ 600 rpm
Practical rate of fire ?
Magazine capacity 25 rounds
Sighting range ~ 30 m
Range of effective fire (air) ~ 50 m
Range of effective fire (5 m under water) ~ 30 m
Range of effective fire (20 m under water) ~ 20 m
Range of effective fire (40 m under water) ~ 10 m

 

   The QBS-06 is a Chinese underwater assault rifle. It is a clone of the Russian APS underwater assault rifle. However the Chinese weapon has got a number of modifications. It looks like it was adopted by the Chinese Navy in 2006. It is used by combat divers and, possibly, naval commando units, who are involved in amphibious operations. It is quite an unusual weapon, as there are no known underwater assault rifles in the West.

   The QBS-06 is a gas-operated, selective fire    weapon. This assault rifle can fire both below and above the water.

   The QBS-06 has a smoothbore barrel and fires specially designed DBS-06 5.8 mm ammunition with darts. It is slightly different than 5.66 mm ammunition of the Russian APS, as it is built around cases of the China's general issue 5.8x42 mm round. Projectiles are around 120 mm long.  Under the water projectiles are stabilized by a hydrodynamic cavity, generated by the flat point of the dart. However these have no stabilization when fired above the water. There is a baseline round with a steel dart. Possibly there are also tracer or training rounds. This ammunition is resistant to water and corrosion.

   It is worth noting that standard ammunition is useless under the water, as it has a range of only 2-3 meters. Bullets loose their trajectory and penetration instantly. Furthermore it is unsafe to fire standard firearms under the water.

   This weapon is fed from 25-round capacity magazines. Magazines have different shape, than those of the Russian APS.

   This weapon has got a simple steel wire stock. When not in use the stock is telescoped into the weapon. When not in use the wire stock becomes part of the pistol grip. Both pistol grip and foregrip are made of polymer materials. This underwater assault rifle can mount a knife-bayonet.

   The QBS-06 has got simple, non-adjustable, iron sights. This weapon is quiet effective under water. Though its efficiency and firing rate reduces gradually as the depth increases. At a depth of 5 meters its effective range is around 30 meters. At a depth of 20 meters its effective range reduces to around 20 meters. Such range might not sound a lot. However in most cases visibility under the water is even lower. So such the range of this weapon is adequate for its role. In the air its effective range and performance are poor. That's why frogmen typically carry another assault rifle for operation above the water.

   Long needle-like round can easily penetrate diving suits and diver's masks, and defeat hostile divers. It can also engage various boats and underwater delivery vehicles, used by hostile frogmen.

   When firing above the water, service life of this weapon is very short. It is way shorter than that of standard assault rifles. It is likely that Chinese came up with some kind of solution in order to extend service life of their QBS-06 underwater assault rifles. For example smoothbore barrel of the Russian APS underwater assault rifle can be replaced by a rifled one in order to fire general issue ammunition above the water.

   In the mid 2000s, when the QBS-06 was introduced, Russians revealed their new ADS assault rifle, that can be fired both above and below water. It has a much more advanced design. The ADS can be used both below and above the water. This weapon uses newly developed 5.45x39 mm PSP underwater ammunition, which looks like a standard-issue Russian assault rifle ammunition. The ADS can be loaded and fired from the standard AK-74 magazines. Under the water this new ammunition has slightly inferior performance to the QBS-06 darts, however above the water it has much longer effective range. When using general issue 5.56x45 mm ammunition above the water, the ADS has an effective range of 500 m, similar to that of the standard AK-74 full-size assault rifle. That was a huge improvement for the weapon of this type. Furthermore the ADS has got an integral 40 mm grenade launcher. This weapon is being proposed for the Russian Navy as a replacement for the APS. It is also being proposed for various export customers.

 
QBS-06 underwater assault rifle

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QBS-06 underwater assault rifle

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QBS-06 underwater assault rifle

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QBS-06 underwater assault rifle

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QBS-06 underwater assault rifle

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