In November 2018, the KBP Instrument Design Bureau won a contract for the “design, manufacture, testing, and serial production of the 12,7 mm heavy assault automatic system ShAK-12.”
The weapon is designed for a specific use-case where weight and shot distance are largely irrelevant. It has an effective range of up to 100m, which is sufficient for close-quarters combat.
Adrenaline and certain substances can suppress the immediate impact of gunshot wounds. So, the target could potentially have a window of action before going down. In urban conflict scenarios, this window can make a difference of several dead hostages. According to reports, the ShAK-12’s 12,7х55 mm rounds should solve this problem by instantly neutralizing targets upon contact. These rounds can reportedly neutralize targets even with grazing shots and through walls.
The assault rifle was unveiled in 2017. According to reports, it will be limited to close-quarters FSB use and is expected to see action in future Russian counter-terrorist operations.
Supporters of the ShAK-12 say that the weapons would sucessfully use the experience of the Beslan school siege and Moscow theater hostage crisis in the early 2000’s and will close the FSB’s need for a more efficient close-quarters combat weapon in hostage situations. At the same time, critics of the weapons point out that the ShAK-12 unilizes too powerful round and has a significant recoil force, which may impact negatively operations of servicemen armed with the rifle.