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Afanasev A-12.7



Overview


A-12.7 heavy machine gun

Left side view of A-12.7 heavy machine gun on display in museum.
Source: MKFI - © public domain

Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Heavy machine gun
Entered service
1953
Status
Obsolete
Development
1949 - 1953
Developer
Soviet Union
Nikolay M. Afanasev
Production
1953 - 1983
Producer
Soviet Union - Izhmash
Soviet Union - KMZ
Soviet Union - Tulamashzavod
Number produced
Several thousand (estimate)
Designations
9A-016P (GRAU index)
TKB-481 (prototype designation)
TKB-481M (improved model)

Description


Introduction

The A-12.7 is an early Cold War era heavy machine gun of Soviet origin. It was developed in the early 1950's to improve on the rate of fire of the widely used Berezin UB heavy machine gun. Initially The A-12.7 was intended to arm the Tu-4 bomber, but the more powerful NS-23 autocannon was chosen instead. In the end the A-12.7 was used to arm a wide variety of helicopters and training aircraft.

Design

The A-12.7 is a large single barrel heavy machine gun. It is a gas operated weapon that uses an accelleration lever to increase the rate of fire. Ammunition is belt fed from either left or right side. An electrical trigger mechanism is employed. Stoppages are removed by a pneumatically operated charging mechanism.

Firepower

The A-12.7 fires the 12.7x108mm round. Theoretically the A-12.7 may fire at 1.400 rpm. In practice this is reduced to 800 to 1.100 rpm in order to reduce barrel wear. With the reduced rate of fire the performance is similar to the Berezin UB over which the A-12.7 was intended to be an improvement.

Platforms

The A-12.7 is used only on aircraft. Its weight and rate of fire make it very impractical for ground use. The A-12.7 was fitted onto Mi-24A attack helicopter, but replaced by the more powerful Yak-B on Mi-24D and subsequent models. Assault transport helicopters such as the Mi-4A, Mi6-A and Mi-8TV also feature the A-12.7 in a nose mount. MiG-15UTI, MiG-17UTI and MiG-19UTI feature the A-12.7, while a pod for the A-12.7 was used on the MiG-21U.

Details


Facts A-12.7
General
Origin
Soviet Union
Type
Heavy machine gun
Caliber
Caliber
12.7x108mm Soviet
Feed system
Single belt feed
Barrel length
1.005 m
Rifling
8 grooves, right hand twist
Muzzle velocity
818 m/s
Barrel life
4.000 rounds using reduced rate of fire
Operation
Action
Gas operated
Fire selector
0 - F
Rate of fire
1.400 rpm (theoretical)
800 - 1.100 rpm (practical)
Dimensions
Length
1.423 mm
Width
153 mm
Height
155 mm
Weight
25.5 kg empty
Sights
Mechanical
None

Media