This fearsome weapon is being hailed as a “game-changer” – the world’s most deadly sniper rifle.
In the right hands the Russian-made Lobaev Arms SVLK-14S can achieve a kill at almost two miles.
The 10kg, £30,000 weapon has a single-shot bolt action, meaning it fires only one round at at a time.
But it is said to be accurate up to 2,000m or even 3,000m – compared to the 1,500m effective range of the L115A3, the sniper rifle used by the British Army.
Yuri Sinichkin, chief engineer of the company which produces it, said: “This weapon was made piece by piece, just like a Ferrari or Porsche, for people who appreciate high-precision guns as well as for professional snipers.”
The rifle fires a 408 inch Cheyenne Tactical round which leaves the barrel at 900m per second, almost three times the speed of sound.
Sinichkin added: “Such a bullet can pierce a rail that is 3cm thick.
“Imagine what will happen to an enemy. No bullet-proof vest will help him.”
A member of the Royal Military Police’s Weapons Intelligence Section said: “If this rifle really can take out a target at two miles it could be a game changer.
“A sniper has to make a whole series of judgment calls before he pulls the trigger and the rifle has to be robust.”
Sniping – a word derived from the ability to shoot small, agile birds called snipes – became an almost forgotten art form in the British Army after WW2 but had a key impact in Afghanistan and Iraq.