Experience gained in local conflicts and, above all, in the war in Afghanistan prompted the necessity of adopting a sniper weapon intended for paratroopers and air assault units which is more compact and convenient when transporting and during marching and landing operations.
The 7.62 mm SVDS sniper rifle modification (Dragunov sniper rifle with folding stock, index 6V3) was adopted for service in 1995. Its faxed stock is replaced with a plastic pistol grip and a light right-folding skeleton-type stock with a plastic shoulder rest. The stock features a nonremovable turning cheek piece and a tube to allow holding the stock with left hand in a supported firing position.
Plastic hand guards are identical to those on the SVD rifle. The stock can be folded with the optical sight mounted,, but firing with the folded stock is impossible. The stock locking mechanism provides rigid fastening in combat position and compensation for wear of parts in the course of employment.
The gas discharging assembly is upgraded, and flash suppressor redesigned and shortened The gas regulator initially built into the gas discharging assembly was later discarded to simplify design, although at present the SVDS is again offered in the variant with gas regulator. The barren has a thicker wall which decreases its healing and vibration when firing. The reinforced receiver provides more stable attachment of the optical sight.
The PSO-1M2 optical sight is the main sighting device. The SVDS rifle is designed mainly for airborne troops.
The SVDS as well as the baseline SVD rifle can be provided with a light-weight detachable bipod mounted in front of the forearm.
The SVDS night modifications correspond to those of the basic SVD rifle:
— SVDSN1 with the MSPU night sight;
— SVDSN2 with the NSPUM night sight;
— SVDSN3 with the NSPU-3 night sight.