Heavy machine gun "Cliff": Between two eras

The Utes machine gun is a direct descendant of the legendary DShK. "Degtyarev-Shpagin large-caliber" was originally intended to destroy enemy aircraft at altitudes up to one and a half kilometers.

It was a great success for the Soviet Army that the ancestor of the Utes machine gun was put into service on the very eve of the Great Patriotic War. Indeed, in addition to its main function - the fight against enemy aircraft, he successfully supported the infantry with his smashing fire, covered armored vehicles and ships. With the end of the war, his service continued for several more decades.

Cliff Ancestor - Legendary DShK

New time - new requirements

By the end of the 50s, it became clear that the DShK needed a replacement, lighter, more mobile, technologically advanced, fully meeting the requirements of modern (at that time) combat. Developed by the famous Tula gunsmiths G. I. Nikitin, Yu. M. Sokolov and V. I. Volkov, the Utes machine gun in its other name inherited the first letters of the names of its creators - NSV, and from its great predecessor DShK - caliber 12, 7 mm. In his combat "competence" - lightly armored targets such as armored personnel carriers, firing points, concentrations of infantry, vehicles and low-flying targets. The fire range is from 1 to 1.5 km.

The seriousness of the intentions of the Soviet defense industry is evidenced by the fact that a completely new Metallist plant was built in the city of Uralsk for the production of NSV-12, 7. The backbone of the team was made up of engineers and workers of the leading Soviet weapons enterprises.

Design Features

Like the DShK, the 25-kg "Cliff" is completely "self-sufficient". It receives energy for the operation of automation, thanks to the powder gases. The trigger mechanism is very simple in design, housed in a separate box and can provide extremely automatic firing.

The barrel of the machine gun can be easily removed. For ease of transfer, it is equipped with a handle, and a conical flash suppressor is installed at the end of its muzzle. For the field version, designers K. Baryshev and L. Stepanov developed a 6T7 tripod machine. In order to overcome high thermal loads, the technology of jet chrome plating was used to make the rifling of the barrel.

A series of ammunition was developed specifically for the "Utes" to destroy specific targets. So the incendiary 43-gram MDZ cartridge was created to destroy low-flying targets and vehicles, and the 55-gram BS cartridge of armor-piercing incendiary action with a refractory metal core was designed for lightly armored vehicles.

Machine gun cartridges Utes

Later, more powerful ammunition of the 12 series, 7 x 108 mm, was created, which included the B-32, BZT-44 and MDZ cartridges. At a distance of half a kilometer, "Utes" confidently pierces 16-mm armor. Machine-gun belts for field and tank variants hold 50 and 150 rounds, respectively.

Machine gun Utes on the T-72 tank


The Utes machine gun has taken root well as an anti-aircraft machine gun on all Soviet tanks, starting with the T-64, self-propelled guns and various types of armored vehicles. The navy, where the "Utes" was used on warships as a means of air defense, did not pass him by.

Ship variant

Participation in conflicts

During its more than 40 years of service, "Utes" managed to fight in Afghanistan and Chechnya. In particular, in Chechnya, the nickname "anti-sniper" has stuck to him. Long firing range (up to 2 km), stealth in combination with a special sight makes "Utes" an effective means of fighting enemy snipers. The combat capabilities of the machine gun significantly increased when they began to install sights on it - an optical SPP, a night non-illuminated NSPU-3 and a radar sight, which allows aimed fire in the dark.

Battle shift

By the end of the 80s, the combat potential of the "Cliff" was exhausted, although there is no talk of a complete "retirement". It's just that "Cliff" is outdated. It was replaced by the "Kord" machine gun, developed at the Design Bureau of the Kovrov Plant. Degtyareva.

Tactical and technical characteristics of the machine gun "Utes"

  • Cartridge - 12.7 x 108 mm
  • Machine gun weight without tape - 25 kg
  • Barrel weight - 9 kg
  • Weight of loaded tape with a capacity of 50 cartridges - 7, 7 kg
  • Weight of a cartridge box equipped with 50 cartridges - 11, 1 kg
  • Cartridge weight - 123-137 g
  • Machine gun length - 1560 mm
  • Length of a machine gun with electric release - 1610 mm
  • Machine gun length on machine 6T7 - 1900 mm
  • Machine gun height on machine 6T7 - 380 mm
  • Number of grooves - 8
  • muzzle velocity - 845 m / s
  • Muzzle energy of a bullet - 15815-17672 J
  • Modes of fire - continuous
  • Rate of fire (technical rate of fire) - 700-800 rpm
  • Combat rate of fire - 80-100 rpm
  • Sighting range - 2000 m
  • Range of a direct shot at a target with a height of 2 m - 850 m
  • Thickness of penetrated armor at a distance of 500 m - 16 mm
  • Tape capacity, cartridges: infantry version - 50, tank version - 150