This year represents the 50th anniversary of the SVD Dragunov rifle. Â Introduced into the service of the Soviet Union army in 1963, this semi-automatic sniper rifle has proved itself a capable performer in the field.
Since 1964, the Dragunov has been made by Izhmash, a Russian arms and vehicle manufacturer. Â To commemorate the 50th anniversary, Izhmash announced the modernized SVD will be completed later this year. Â The modernized Dragunov will feature:
- new barrel
- Picatinny rail for optics
- folding bi-pod
- adjustable buttstock
- improved accuracy
The Dragunov has been used by at least 30 different countries around the world. Â While the United States has never officially used the SVD Dragunov, it has helped equip and train friendly countries with the rifle. Â It was just one of these weapons that Staff Sergeant Clinton L. Romesha used on October 3, 2009 to help repel some 400 enemy fighters in Nuristan Province, Afghanistan.