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Rheinmetall unveils ‘game changing’ grenade launcher

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German arms manufacturer Rheinmetall has revealed the potentially game-changing SSW40 grenade launcher at the Eurosatory defense and security tradeshow in France.

According to a press release from Rheinmetall, the 40mm fire support weapon is the world’s first automatic, magazine-loaded, shoulder-fired grenade launcher.

As noted by the company, both weight, dimensions and handling of the SSW40 are similar to assault rifles.

“Thanks to a recoil-reducing and self-regulating recoil system, the SSW40 (Squad Support Weapon 40) can fire all available 40mm Low Velocity (LV) ammunition types as well as the new Rheinmetall 40mm Medium Velocity (MV) ammunition,” the press release says.

The new MV ammunition has a significantly increased velocity and a flat trajectory, allowing targets to be engaged more quickly and increasing the effective range of the system to 900m. Combined with the broad spectrum of Rheinmetall’s 40mm LV/MV ammunition portfolio, the infantry user achieves unprecedented flexibility and effectiveness on the battlefield of the future.

Due to the 40mm MV ammunition, the development of the SSW40 is closely related to the turret-independent secondary weapon system (TSWA, Turmunabhängige Sekundärwaffenanlage in German) for the Puma infantry fighting vehicle. The TSWA enables the engagement of targets in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle with both non-lethal effectors as well as the lethal warheads of the new 40mm MV ammunition family. The market introduction of this 40mm MV ammunition family was decisive for the SSW40, the development of which will be completed in 2023.

Via a quick magazine change, the SSW40 can be used in any near-peer as well as asymmetric conflict scenario and offers superior firepower in any terrain, even against medium-weight armoured vehicles.

The interfaces on the SSW40 also allow the inclusion of laser light modules, fire control sights as well as IR programmers for aerial explosive point ammunition.

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