The Azerbaijan Ministry of Defence Industry has recently developed a new anti-material sniper rifle called the “Istiglal” IST-14.5. These photos are from the Ministry’s website:
The rifle was on display at the IDEF ’09 arms show in Turkey a couple of weeks ago. I could find very little information about this rifle. The Azerbaijanis may be known for oil, but websites (and photography) they are not 😉
It is said to weigh 20 kg (44 lbs, but can be broken into two part for transport), has a range of 3000m (1.8 miles) and is usable in mud, snow, dust and temperatures ranging from -50 degrees Celsius (-58 F) to +50 degrees C (122 F).
Other than that all I know is what is pictured above. It has a side mounted scope, iron sights, bipod and a two baffle muzzle break.
Photo from trmilitary.com
The potent 14.5x114mm round it chambers was developed by the Soviets at the beginning of WWII as an anti-tank cartridge and later as a heavy machine gun and anti-aircraft round. Compared to the .50 BMG it is up to 60% more powerful!
From what I can make out from Azerbaijani websites they are interested in creating a viable defense export business. Other items on display at IDEF were machine gun suppressors and Armored Personal Carriers jointly produced with South Africa.