The Kord-12.7 mm heavy machine gun is a Russian design that entered service in 1998 replacing the older NSV machine gun. Externally the weapon resembles the NSV; however, the internal mechanism has been extensively reworked, changing from a horizontally pivoting breech block to a rotating bolt design. It has been combat tested in numerous conflicts and under harshest weather conditions. It can be installed on different mounts, including light bipod versions, and vehicles thus widening the spectrum of tasks accomplished.Additionally the gas system has been changed and the muzzle baffle redesigned. These changes give the weapon reduced recoil compared with the NSV, allowing greater accuracy during sustained fire.
The weapon employs new construction, and consequently is significantly lighter than its predecessor. The firing mechanism is very rugged, and is capable of a greater rate of fire and significantly less recoil. Because a new barrel made of a high-tech alloy minimizes distortion and drop, accuracy has increased tremendously over previous Soviet machine guns. Unlike its predecessor, it may be fired from a bipod — a rather unusual feature for 12.7 mm/.50 caliber heavy machine guns. Its relatively light weight and lesser recoil allows stronger soldiers to move the gun around without assistance.
The catalyst for the development of the weapon was a complete lack of any heavy machine guns in construction at that time in the Russian Federation. Prior to the dissolution of the Soviet Union, the weapon that had functioned as the heavy machine gun was the NSV machine gun. The main production centre for the NSV was located in what is now Kazakhstan. The Russian Degtyarev bureau was given the job of producing an updated version of the weapon chambered in the 12.7×108mm cartridge, which could be used for support, mounted on vehicles or in an anti-aircraft capacity. The weapon has also been chambered to handle the .50 BMG cartridge for export sales.