In the latest example of ‘unconventional’ improvised Ukrainian weapons, we now have video of the contraption made of half a dozen AK-74 assault rifles in action. This follows footage released two days ago which showed the same weapon, but did not depict it firing. It is now one of a variety of improvised small arms solutions — some more relevant than others — that have been pressed into service as counter-drone weapons by Ukrainian forces.
In the footage, which can be seen below, the weapon with its crosshair iron sight sits by the edge of a field as two targets fly overhead. An individual operating it proceeds to open fire at the targets with seemingly predictable results. It’s unclear what type of drones the targets were specifically.
Originally introduced in the 1970s as a successor to the Russian AK-47 (which was introduced in the late 1940s) the AK-74 is now one of the primary service rifles in use with the Ukrainian military.
To the left of the frame, a second individual can also be seen firing a Degtyaryov DP-27 machine gun, a pre-World War II design that is still in use in Ukraine, at the overhead targets. Like the improvised AK-74 weapon, the DP-27 sits atop a tripod base.
Despite the increase in volume of fire garnered from six AK-74s firing at once, the improvised weapon does not appear to shoot anything down. Still, the video (as well as other footage) illustrates that the system does in fact function.
As we noted previously, earlier footage of the weapon did not show it firing. That video, which can be seen below, provides a close-up view of the system.
The AK-74s are mounted on an internal frame, with a central charging handle and trigger system that is linked to all six individual triggers.
Other footage, which you can see below, also shows the improvised multi-AK-74 weapon being constructed.
More broadly, the creation of the weapon underscores the wider impact that Russian loitering munitions, or kamikaze drones, have had during the war in Ukraine. Various tiers of drones, including armed types of different sizes and capabilities, have been a key feature on both sides of the conflict since Russia first launched its all-out invasion in February last year.
Ukrainian anti-drone teams, for example, have been equipped with powerful lights and laser pointers in a bid to help down Russian drones, especially Iranian-made Shahed 136 kamikaze types, even at night. Small arms of different kinds have been used to shoot down enemy drones in this context, including improvised machine gun mounts fixed to light vehicles (technicals).
But near the frontlines, where smaller loitering munitions are a major persistent threat, soldiers can often be seen firing their rifles at them in hopes of a hit, although doing so is very challenging. This new multi-rifle contraption is certainly intended to make use of widely available guns and ammo to increase the volume of fire in hopes of making hitting them easier. Just how effective it would be at doing that is questionable, though.
There are computer-aided rifle sights that now help with exactly this task, and they are quite effective in certain circumstances, but there has been no word that they have made their way to Ukraine.
Although it’s questionable if the improvised multi-AK-74 weapon would have much operational impact against Russian drones, it’s still a novel sight to see from a mechanical standpoint.
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