The speed is considered hypersonic if it exceeds the Mach5 mark (5,626 fps) which basically means five times the speed of sound. In an interview given to Russian RIA Novosti news agency, Vladislav Lobaev, the founder and chief engineer of Lobaev Arms, said that they are researching the hypersonic ammunition and in case of a government support within a year they can create a precision cartridge that will have a muzzle velocity of 2,000 m/s (about 6,560 fps) which is roughly equal to Mach 6.
According to Vladislav Lobaev, this kind of ammunition will increase the capabilities of precision weapons making them capable of much longer range engagements with much flatter trajectories. He also said that these cartridges won’t be loaded with conventional powder but with “detonating chemical substance of special composition”.
If they do manage to create such ammunition and weapon systems/barrels capable of handling pressures and velocities of mentioned levels, then it will be a new era in precision small arms design. Currently, small arms cartridges barely exceed the 4,000 fps threshold.
Vladislav Lobayev also announced that by the end of the current year they will have developed a long range sniper rifle chambered in .408 CheyTac and .375 CheyTac. They claim that the new rifle will have a 0.5 MOA accuracy at 2,000-meter range which roughly translates to 10″ groups at that distance. At the beginning of the next year, they will also make a .338 Lapua Magnum version of the same semi-auto rifle.
It is unclear whether the development of the new sniper rifle and hypersonic ammunition are correlated or not. We will be following the news concerning these projects and reporting them to our readers.
Solovyeva U. (2018, September 25). “В РОССИИ В ТЕЧЕНИЕ ГОДА МОГУТ РАЗРАБОТАТЬ ГИПЕРЗВУКОВЫЕ СНАЙПЕРСКИЕ ПАТРОНЫ”. RIA Novosti. Retrieved from: https://ria.ru/arms/20180925/1529268063.html
Solovyeva U. (2018, September 25). “В РОССИИ К КОНЦУ ГОДА ПРЕДСТАВЯТ ПЕРВУЮ САМОЗАРЯДНУЮ СНАЙПЕРСКУЮ ВИНТОВКУ”. RIA Novosti. Retrieved from: https://ria.ru/arms/20180925/1529270409.html
Images from www.lobaevarms.com