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Grenade Launchers

The M320 is designed for attachment to the M16A4 assault rifle, while the M320A1 is designed for attachment to the M4 Carbine. (US Army)

ent guns from a wide variety of nations being designed to use them. The ammunition has also seen much development, with the length of the cartridge cases often varying from the nominal 46 mm and 53 mm. The universality of the 40 mm ammunition means that there are numerous stand-alone and under-barrel launchers made to fire it. The “Thumper” or “Blooper”, both were unofficial nick-names for M79, was the classic single-barrel stand-alone type but this has largely been replaced by under-barrel launcher M203, which

is itself being replaced in the US and other armed forces by more modern under-barrel launchers (UBLs), like AG36/AG-C/EGLM/M320 series from Heckler & Koch, which can fire a wider range of munitions and can be fitted with a stock and sights for the stand-alone role. The initial platform (host rifle) for AG36 was the Heckler and Koch G36 assault rifle, than the latest version AG-C/EGLM (Enhanced Grenade Launcher Module) is a modification which can be mounted on the M16A4 assault rifles and M4 carbines using Picatinny type rails under the forend. In September 2004, the US Army Research and Development Command (ARDEC) at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, announced a requirement for a 40mm Grenade Launcher Module (GLM) as an approved Soldier Enhancement Program system item. After the U.S. Army at Picatinny Arsenal, New Jersey, conducted a competitive bidding process for a new 40 mm grenade launching system, in May 2005 Heckler and Koch was awarded a contract to provide the XM/M320 beginning in 2006. The total potential value of the contract was $29 million with a potential purchase of more than 11.000 launchers, day/night sights, and assorted items (tools, parts, and accessories) over the life of the contract. The M320 entered production in Novem-

The German Heckler und Koch M320, designed for attachment to the M16A4/M4 Carbine,can also be used in a stand-alone configuration M320 GLM/Grenade Launcher Module. (US DoD) EDR - September / October 2015

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Profile for La Passion Artistique

EDR Magazine N°. 23 September / October 2015  

European Defence Review magazine issue #23

EDR Magazine N°. 23 September / October 2015  

European Defence Review magazine issue #23

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