The 82nd Airborne Division of the US Army has started operational testing of the new sniper system called the MK-22 Precision Sniper Rifle (PSR).

The new sniper system is configured for multi-calibres and can be reconfigured without higher-level maintenance. PSR also extends target engagement ranges.

US Army 82nd Airborne Division, 2nd Brigade Combat Team, 325th Airborne Infantry Regiment 1st Battalion sniper Sergeant Austin Stevens said: “The increased engagement range will keep Snipers safer and increase the options for the local commander employing these combat multipliers.”

Another soldier said that PSR is equipped with a folding stock and removable suppression system, which will provide airborne snipers with a more compact load during airborne infiltration operations without compromising with lethality.

Before the testing began, snipers from the airborne and special operations community participated in equipment training.

Training included getting acquainted with the system and its maintenance, as well as sessions on target engagement, system configuration and zeroing procedures.

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Airborne and Special Operations Test Directorate (ABNSOTD) deputy chief of test Larry Harris said: “The critical task in testing any small arms platform intended for use by airborne forces is ensuring zero retention of the primary optic subsequent to airborne insertion.

“This is a critical gauge of the Paratrooper’s lethality during airfield seizure and other follow-on operations.”

This performance measure was assessed by the ABNSOTD test team with an airdrop test. During the test, the team applied mobile weapons boresight collimator to the rifle to ensure that PSR’s pre-mission zero was not degraded due to shock.

PSR is expected to receive fielding clearance following the completion of the operational testing.