Iran's New Arash 20mm Shoulder Fired Anti-Material Rifle (With Barrett BORS Clone)

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

Iran has developed a new 20mm anti-material rifle called the Arash. The rifle is fired standing up with the gun resting on the operators shoulder, much like a RPG, and on the forward bipod. The butt stock is position about midway along the length of the gun with the pistol grip and trigger just forward of it.

The ammunition appears to be either a 20x102mm HEI (High Explosive Incendiary round (or a similarly sized 20mm caliber HEI round). The punishing recoil seems to be mitigated by both a huge barrel shaped muzzle brake and by the odd design of the gun which makes it pivot on the operators shoulder during recoil.

The scope system is particularly interesting. The Iranians, who never let an opportunity to clone a Western military invention go to waste, seem to have produced a clone of the Barrett BORS (Barrett Optical Ranging System) ballistic computer. The Iranian system looks like an almost exact replica, right down to its integration with the scope evaluation knob. The Barrett BORS monitors the evaluation knob and measures air temperature, barometric pressure and rifle tilt in order to calculate the range at which the rifle is set. Presumably the Iranian clone does the same. The position of the scope would make it difficult, if not impossible, for this rifle to be fired from the prone position.

Like their MANPADs, Arash is operated by two man motorcycle teams following classic Iranian “shoot and scoot” doctrine.

The video below, which was filmed taken during the recent Islamic Revolution Guards Corps Payambar-e Azam 8 (The Great Prophet 8) wargames, shows the Arash being fired.

Many thanks to Nic Jenzen-Jones for providing research, photos and videos relating to the Arash.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Dan Dan on Oct 12, 2013

    I personally would be quite concerned using this type of weapon in certain types of combat situations! I can see that it could be quite effective in some scenarios, i.e. vehicle mounted or urban theatres.....but in the open thanks! I don't think they are onto anything special thats for sure! Standing up firing is a definite no go! So unless the enemy is being suppressed with a high rate of fire, then I certainly wouldn't be offering to stand up and fire!

  • Iranian Iranian on Jan 03, 2014

    God bless iran.