The AKS-74u, also known as the AKSU-74 or AK-74SU, is a shortened version of the AK-74 assault rifle and was introduced in 1979.
The AKS-74u combined the small size of a sub-machine gun with the relatively powerful ammunition of an assault rifle, and was commonly carried by vehicle crews, and artillery teams. It was intended for use mainly with Special Forces in need of a lightweight, compact, but powerful weapon. That could be combat efficient in close quarters.
The AKS-74U is a carbine variant of the AK-74 that saw action in the Soviet-Afghan War. Unlike its predecessor, it comes with a side folding stock. It was a light, compact weapon developed as a cheaper replacement for sub-machine guns. Better known in the Russian army as "the spitter," the AKS-74U has only average to middling accuracy, and was not well-liked by the average trooper. On the other hand, the elite-unit Russian Spetsnaz soldiers liked its light weight and portability. Like the M4A1, the AKS-74U can mount a suppressor (PBS Silencer) as well as a grenade launcher (BG-15).
On that note, the BG-15 40mm grenade launcher that the AKS-74U uses is also compatible with the AK-47 and other Kalashnikov rifles. It is the Russian equivalent of the US M203 40mm grenade launcher. The weapon has an effective range between 200–400 meters, much like the M203 or the M79. Unlike the shotgun-like loading mechanism of the M203, the BG-15 has to be loaded like a mortar—from the muzzle down.
The foot soldiers of the Gurlukovich Mercenaries utilized this weapon during the Tanker Incident. Two years later, it was utilized by the Shell 1 Core unit of the Gurlukovich Mercenaries. Raiden later had to procure one at Strut F's warehouse so he could sneak inside Shell 1's Core to make contact with Richard Ames.
Behind the scenes
Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus
- "The AKS-74U is based on the AK-74, a successor to the AK-47, and features a folding stock for use by airborne units. The AKS-74u is a smaller, modified version of that gun, designed for tank and helicopter crews who need a small yet powerful weapon for personal defense as well as for special mission use. The basic operation is the same as for the base model, the AK-74. It also uses the same magazine. Fires 5.45mm x 39 ammo. Holds 30 rounds."
- ―AKS-74U description in Metal Gear Solid: Portable Ops Plus.
Metal Gear Solid 2: Sons of Liberty
Raiden acquires an AKS-74u to complete his disguise among the Gurlukovich Mercenaries who took over Big Shell in 2009 to infiltrate the Shell 1 Core. It only features a full-auto firing mode in the game. The fire rate is easily managed by using short, controlled bursts.
A suppressor can be found and used for this weapon. With it, the player can take out enemies without alerting others within hearing range. The player has to roll across a destroyed walkway on the Shell 1-2 connecting bridge to get the suppressor. This occurs after the Harrier battle with Solidus Snake.
Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots
The AKS-74u is never actually seen in the game. However, a very similar weapon, the AKMSU (distinguished by its AK-47 magazine), makes an appearance as one of the female soldiers' weapons in the PMC commercial for Otselotovaya Khvatka.