The AGS-17 Plamya is a Soviet-designed automatic grenade launcher currently in production in the Russian Federation and in service worldwide.The AGS-17 is a heavy infantry support weapon designed to operate from a tripod or mounted on an installation or vehicle. The AGS-17 fires a steady rate of 30 mm grenades in either direct or indirect fire modes to provide suppressive and lethal fire support against soft skinned targets or fortifications targets. The tripod is equipped with fine leveling gear for indirect fire trajectories.The weapon operates using a blowback mechanism to sustain operation. Rounds are fired through a rifled barrel which is removable quickly to reduce barrel stress. Ammunition is held in a metal box feed, and is linked. Standard boxes contain 29 rounds of linked ammunition.Soviet military opinion in the late-1960s believed that the automatic grenade launcher might be one of the most effective infantry support weapons against "human wave" attacks. This lightweight weapon was to provide infantry with close to medium range fire support against enemy personnel and unarmored targets like trucks and other such equipment. First prototypes of new weapon entered trials in 1969, and mass production commenced in 1971.At the same timeframe, the special heliborne version AG-17 was developed for installation on Mi-24 Hind gunship helicopters. AGS-17 was widely used by Soviet troops in Afghanistan as a ground support weapon or as a vehicle weapon on improvised mounts installed on armored personnel carriers and trucks.