The Barak long-range sniper rifle has recently underwent upgrades due to the lack of operational suitability of the rifle and its accompanying systems.
As previously revealed in the 9th issue of IsraelDefense (July-August 2012), the IDF faced a shortage of bullets for the Barak rifle (also known as the HTR-2000 or 338) produced by the US company H-S Precision. This was after it was discovered that the large quantities of ammunition procured for the rifle is unsuitable for the ranges it was initially intended for. Instead of firing to a range of up to 1,200 meters, it can only be used for up to half that distance, after which the fire would become imprecise.
IsraelDefense has now learned that the rifle, procured by the IDF several years ago for the use of infantry snipers instead of the 0.5 caliber M82A1 rifle, underwent upgrades in recent months, which included the development of a stock to suit the operational needs of the weapon and the added systems. The upgrade was carried out by Ashbury, which manufactures sniper rifle upgrade kits for most of the US weapon manufacturers, and was carried out with the mediation of TAR Ideal, which represented the company in Israel.
The new stock includes a long rail system which is also installed on the upper section of the weapon as well as on its sides, for the purpose of adapting measures such as laser or thermal scopes, bipods and more. In addition, magazines of ten bullets are supplied in the framework of the upgrade instead of five, the stock is adjustable and the system integrates metal and composite materials, making the rifle lighter.
50 units have already been supplied to the IDF, and additional rifles are expected to undergo the upgrade soon, which has significantly improved the rifle's fire precision. Furthermore, besides the Barak, the IDF's standard sniper rifle - the Remington M24 - is presently undergoing a similar upgrade by Ashbury, with TAR
Within this, it has turned out that the night scopes procured by the IDF for the Barak rifle, the PVS-22 clip-on scope by OSTI, cannot reach their intended operational range and only reach a range shorter by 200 meters.
The scope, which is installed onboard the rifle’s existing daytime scope rail, allowing for dual use, was procured in order to replace the veteran Aquila 6x scope, which reaches a max operational range of 600 meters and needed to reach an operational range of 800 meters at night. However, according to sources involved in the issue, since it is a clip-on scope based on two elements, and not a single intended night system, it only reaches a range of 600 meters.
According to the IDF Spokesperson, “the IDF acquired night scopes for the Barak sniper rifle, after a series of tests that proved the suitability to the IDF's operational needs. Improvements to the scopes are currently being examined, in cooperation with OSTI, as part of the assimilation process. This is a common process in the assimilation of new systems for operational use."