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Grenade Launchers

The Serbian Zastava UBL-40 is intended for integration with Kalashnikov design and also compatible with wide range of assault rifles. (JP Husson)

The first of these were from Martin Electronics, with Rheinmetall also developing MV rounds. The heavier grenades fired at a higher muzzle velocity (240 g to 100 m/s insted of 180 g to 76 m/s) for and result in a maximum ballistic range, about 800 metres, and when fired at shorter ranges have a much flatter trajectory and shorter flight time than LV ammunitions, considerably improving their hit probability. However, the additional recoil can be considerable (about 3 times more), especially in lighter weapons, so the MV ammunition is currently best suited to the solid and heavy six-barrel revolver type launchers. As a result of the recoil problem, some manufacturers, namely Rheinmetall, Arcus of Bulgaria and ST Kinetics of Singapore have introduced what is now usually called Low Velocity-Ex-

The new six-shot revolvers HTGL 0003 designed and manufactured by Turkish firm Hatsan. (JP Husson) EDR - September / October 2015

tended Range (LV-ER) ammunition, which sits in between the low and medium velocity types and is specifically intended for under-barrel or single-barrel launchers. Other manufacturers have followed suit, with Denel developing a 40 x 51 ER-LP (Extended Range-Low Pressure) firing a 200 g projectile at 120 m/s for a range of 800 meters, and Rheinmetall an MV round firing standard 240 g HV grenades at 100 m/s for a range of 700 meters. Made by some many companies in the world, the 40 mm HV grenades are typically about 30 percent heavier than the LV at three times the muzzle velocity, increasing the maximum ballistic range from 400 to over 2.000 metres, but the recoil is several times greater, which means that attempts to design shoulder-fired weapons for this cartridge have so far been unsuccessful, although NORINCO of China recently announced one. In fact, this ammunition is therefore used in crew-served, tripod-mounted, belt-fed launchers (AGLs).

The six-shot RGP-40 developped in Poland by Tarn贸w/Osrodka Badawczo Rozwojowego Sprzetu Mechanicznego ) (JP Husson)

Easter alternatives Beyond NATO, the main suppliers of grenade launchers are Russia and China. The Russian equivalent to the NATO LV ammunitions are the VOG-25 series, another 40 mm of similar performance, but differing technically in being caseless (the propellant is contained within a small element attached to the back of the grenade that travels with it). Like the NATO LV a very wide range of munitions is available for it. The muzzle-loading GP-25 and GP-30 are the standard launchers, but there are also six-shot revolvers, such the RG-6 (official designation


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

Profile for clubfoot