In 1971, the arsenal of the Soviet Army was replenished with a new sample related to "hand-held artillery", the AGS-17 grenade launcher, which was named "Flame". This type of armament is compact, efficient, reliable and technically unequaled among analogues developed in other countries. He shoots precisely, far away, and his damaging effect is deadly. Universality of use is provided by additional accessories that allow to fire in conditions of poor visibility and to install an automatic grenade launcher for different types of equipment, both terrestrial and air. Affected targets can be on a straight line of fire or behind the folds of the terrain; The trajectory of an ammunition's flight, depending on the elevation angle, is either planking or hinged. In general, AGS-17 - weapons of a wide range of purposes.
Machine tool САГ-17
The first modification was the system installed on a relatively low tripod supporting a box consisting of two parts (top and bottom). In addition to the main function, the machine also performs an additional function: it serves as a supporting structure for the backlight batteries used for shooting at night. At the top of the device are two cradles, upper and lower. The first is intended for direct installation of a grenade launcher with the help of trunnions and has the ability to swing horizontally. There is also a clamp, connecting the cradle with the earring AGS-17. The lower one provides horizontal guidance within the sector of firing and supports the mechanism of the vertically swinging part. The entire tripod, together with the machine consisting of two cradles, is unified and has the name SAG-17.
The high efficiency of the means of fire destruction prompted the designers of the bureau. Nudelman to consider other options for its application. In 1980, the 213P-A helicopter complex was introduced, which is an automatic grenade launcher AGS-17, placed in a suspended container (GVV, i.e., a universal helicopter gondola), mounted on the nodes of the external suspension of assault helicopters. Aviation specifics required certain constructive changes. In the GUV there is a ammunition consisting of three hundred shells. Activation of the weapon, unlike the infantry option, is performed by means of an electric drive remotely. A sharp increase in the rate of fire (up to 500 against the usual 65 rounds per minute) caused, in turn, the need to cool the barrel, which is realized by an air radiator. The barrel has also undergone a change in the part of the cutting step. The initial speed, increased due to the movement of the system, required more intensive rotation of the grenade to ensure the desired accuracy of hit.
Other installation options
Not only the aircraft can be equipped with AGS-17 "Flame" grenade launcher. It is a standard armament of armored vehicles of motorized infantry (BMD-3, BTR-70). Its usual place of installation is left coursework, but if necessary the weapon is easily removed and used separately. So is its use on armored pits - as an additional weapon of the tower installation. In both cases, there is no need for additional triggers, shooting is conducted in the same way as in the infantry version. New models of equipment are also equipped with fixed and removable AGS. In its essence, this grenade launcher is a compact artillery cannon that can shoot and direct fire, and a canopy for a distance of 1.7 km. So it was used.
Practice of application
For the first time, the AGS-17 grenade launcher underwent baptism of fire during the Chinese aggression against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in 1979. He showed himself well, was used for the purpose, that is, to defeat the enemy's unprotected strength. In some cases, the fire was fired by squares. The next episode, and rather lengthy, of the combat use of this type of weapons was the war in Afghanistan. Soldiers and officers of a limited contingent of Soviet troops during the fighting repeatedly demonstrated wit, making changes in the design and enriching the practice of tactical use of different systems, including AGS-17. Thus, in particular, it was established that if the automatic grenade launcher is welded to an armored personnel carrier or an infantry fighting vehicle, its efficiency is significantly increased. Also, during the fighting, the soldiers empirically determined the optimal length of the queue - from 3 to 5 grenades.
Unlike ordinary people, shot gunners call not only the physical process of pushing a charge out of the barrel with powder gases, but also a set of necessary items for this. To fire from guns and howitzers, shells with shells and capsules, sometimes (large-caliber guns) and bags of gunpowder are needed. The standard shot of the AGS-17 grenade launcher is a VOG-17 grenade. In addition, additional ammunition (VOG-17M, VOG-30, differing in mass of explosives) has been developed. They consist of a cartridge, equipped with an ejecting powder charge, and a capsule, as well as the grenade itself. In essence, these shots are no different from fragmentation artillery shells, except for a fairly small caliber (30 mm) and dimensions, more likely to match the ammunition of aircraft guns, only with a rounded point. Within a radius of seven meters, the grenade destroys all living things with fragments.
Tape and calculation
Shooting from AGS-17, as it is clear from its name, is conducted mainly in automatic mode, although the design provides for a single (OB). Grenades in the feeder are fed with a tape consisting of links connected by the "crab" system, which, in turn, is laid in a box cochlear. The capacity of the store is 29 shots, although there are only 30 links. The fact is that there is no shank as such in the tape, its role is played by the extreme link, which is inserted into the receiver of the receiver of charges. The capture of the ammunition is carried out not for the cartridge, but for the grenade itself. Ribbon equipment can be produced manually, but usually a special machine is used for this, which, if necessary, is also used for discharging. The calculation consists of two people: an arrow and a second number, also trained in conducting fire and helping to recharge weapons, and also carry it in case of foot movements. The weight of the grenade launcher is considerable - 18 kg (with the machine 52 kg), plus ammunition.
Yugoslav and Soviet ACS
TTX AGS-17 Soviet and Yugoslav (licensed) production are slightly different, although not significantly. Caliber and ammunition are completely unified (30 x 29 B). The barrel of the grenade launcher produced in the SFRY is longer (305 vs. 290 mm), which explains the high initial velocity of the projectile (185 and 120 m / s, respectively). The rate of fire at "Yugoslav" is much higher (400 rds / min.), But this advantage is not always pleasing to soldiers, especially in conditions when ammunition needs to be saved. The aiming range of both samples is the same and is 1700 m. The minimum distance to the target is 1000 m.
The manual on AGS-17 includes instructions for the use, in addition to the main mechanical sight, of a prismatic optical PAG-17. In the case of direct fire fire at distances of up to 700 meters, it is easier to calculate without optics. PAG-17 is needed for firing from closed positions or for remote targets. Its device makes it possible to use it also as a range finder if the dimensions of the object are known. The lens is completed with light filters, there are two. One has a neutral color and slightly reduces the intensity of light in sunny weather, the other is intended for aiming at dusk and is made using a clarifying orange optical layer. Sights are marked in the form of corners and strokes, with a division price of 100 and 50 meters, respectively. On the sides of the central cross are signs of lateral corrections. The electric illumination for the night mode is equipped with batteries.
Mark-19 and AGS
The first automatic grenade launcher was made by the Americans in 1967. In 1968, the first test lot Mark-19 (aka Mk-19) was sent to Vietnam for practical tests, mainly on river armored vessels. Despite many technical merits, it is inferior to the Soviet model, created three years later. The main advantage is the smaller caliber, thanks to which the AGS-17 grenade launcher has a high rate of fire. However, Mark-19 has become a kind of standard for designers of quick-firing "manual artillery" in Western countries, while Soviet weapons have traditional adherents in China, where it is produced under license. Gloomy reputation of ACS is confirmed by their reliability and high efficiency, qualities that have been repeatedly tested in the course of many wars and conflicts of recent decades.