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Grenade Launchers

The Russian KBP GM-94 stand-alone grenade launcher, with tubular magazine three rounds located above the barrel, fires 43 mm VGM-93. (JP Husson)

significantly more effective (this new ammunition weigh 450 g and contain 90 g HE which, in conjunction with the maximum range, amounts to a better performance than the NATO AGLs). China has initially adopted the equipment - and calibers - Russian, but has also recently developed its own 35 mm ammunition. There are three different, incompatible series of 35 mm grenades and associated launchers. Two of them are low-velocity types for under-barrel grenade launchers: the caseless DFS-10 round for the QLG-10/ QLG-10A launcher, which is like a slimmed down VOG-25 and has a similar performance (it exists in two versions, which differ in trigger setup, the earlier QLG-10 is designed to be mounted on the Type 95/QBZ-95 assault rifle, while the latter QLG-10A is designed to be mounted on the updated Type 95-1/QBZ-95-1 assault rifle; and the Type 91 UBGL firing plastic-cased ammunition, which is mainly used with less-lethal grenades for riot control. The third 35 mm ammunition is the 35 x 32SR highvelocity DF-87 series, which has a ballistic range of 1.750 metres and is used in two AGL: the belt-fed, tripod mounted QLZ04 and the even lighter, magazine-fed QLZ87, which is available bipod or tripod mounted. But the most interesting weapon using the 35 x 32SR round is the lightweight semi-automatic QLZ87B (now known as QLB06) a gas operated weapon that uses direct gas impingement system. Developped by Poly Technologies Inc, this further evolution of QLZ-87 AGL has a 1.000 meters range against area targets and 600 meters against point targets. This offers a combiEDR - September / October 2015

nation of firepower (6/4 round-drum magazine), range and light weight (only 9,1 kg empty) not approached by anything except the Czech RAG-30, the automatic grenade launcher, which fires 30 mm grenades VOG-17 and is fed from a 5-rounds detachable box magazine located at the top of the housing (the SAG-30 is a semi-automatic variant that fires from a closed bolt). Chinese companies often make products in western calibres for only export, for example the NORINCO LG6, which offers some unique capabilities not available in western systems. It is a multi-shot 40 mm LV launcher weighing less than 5 kg, but has a gas-operated selective-fire mechanism capable of emptying the standard five-round magazine in one second (the LG6 use also detachable drum magazines with capacity of 15 rounds). In 2014 NORINCO has announced two new weapons for the export market, both designated LG5s, which appear to be versions of the QLZ 87 and QLB 06 modified to fire 40 mm HV NATO ammunition and reportedly fitted with muzzle-mounted fuze setters for timed airburst. Furthermore, in February 2011, photos began to appear of a Chinese weapon called the ZH05, which combines the QBZ-03 assault rifle,

The Chinese semi-automatic QLZ87B - or QLB06) is a gas operated weapon that uses direct gas impingement, developped by Poly Technologies. (J Husson)

23

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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