Russia mulls arming military pilots with PP-2000 submachine gun

Russia’s Defense Ministry is considering including a more compact PP-2000 submachine gun into the military pilots’ survival kit instead of the Kalashnikov AKS-74U assault rifle, according to TASS quoting a source in the domestic defense industry.

“A proposal has been put forward to study the possibility of arming military pilots with a very compact PP-2000 instead of the AKS-74U. The defense agency has responded with interest to this proposal,” the source said.

A pilot’s survival deployment kit, which the ground personnel place into the ejection seat bucket before a combat sortie, includes the Kalashnikov AKS-74U assault rifle, the ammunition load and grenades in addition to food and water supplies, a first-aid set and communications gear. Also, when a pilot goes on a combat sortie, for example, in Syria, he takes a Makarov or a Stechkin pistol with him as additional arms and places it together with the magazines into the ammunition vest.

The PP-2000 has been developed by the Tula Design Bureau of Instrument-Making for the 9x19mm Parabellum cartridge. The submachine gun is among the world’s lightest firearms: it weighs 1.4kg without the magazine and the buttstock. As its specific feature, the PP-2000 offers the possibility to use a spare magazine as a shoulder support. The breechblock lever and the magazine’s latch button can be re-installed on any side, which makes it possible for both a right-hand and a left-hand serviceman to use the gun.

The serial-produced PP-2000 submachine guns have been equipped with a removable side-folding metallic butt since 2006. The PP-2000’s length is 582 mm with the unfolded butt and 350 mm without the butt. For the sake of comparison, the AKS-74U is 730 mm long with the unfolded butt and 490m long with the folded butt.