Rheinmetall's 40mm ammunition and fire control units at IDEX 2013


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IDEX 2013
Tri-Service defence exhibition

17 - 21 February 2013
Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

Rheinmetall at IDEX 2013
Sunday, February 17, 2013, 7:43 PM
Rheinmetall's 40mm ammunition and fire control units at IDEX 2013

Particularly in modern conflicts, ground troops have to be able to respond in a scalable manner to multiple threats worldwide. Infantry forces are also capable to fight in difficult terrain – be it an urban environment or high in the mountains. Despite all the talk of automation and unmanned systems, it is clear that “boots on the ground”, i.e. infantrymen, are as important as ever and will continue to play a decisive role in future military scenarios.

40mm ammunition and fire control units

Rheinmetall’s array of 40mm ammunition – along with quite a few other products made by Germany’s best-known defence contractor – serves as a veritable combat multiplier for the infantry and other dismounted troops. It bridges the gap between hand grenades and mortars. Widely used today, the Group’s 40mm x 46 low-velocity ammunition (LV, velocity: 78 m/s) is available in a wide variety of versions, including HE/fragmentation, shaped charge with fragmentation jacket (HEDP/high explosive dual purpose) as well a number of other service and practice rounds, together with non-lethal payloads such as kinetic impact munitions or irritant.

As one of the world’s leading suppliers of defence technology systems, Rheinmetall is showcasing its 40mm ammunition and fire control units for modern infantry forces during the IDEX 2013.
Rheinmetall’s new multipurpose 40mm HV-HEDP IM ESD cartridge
At present, Rheinmetall is the leading maker of new 40mm x 46 medium-velocity ammunition (MV, velocity: approx. 105 m/s). It can be fired by individual infantrymen equipped with handheld or platform-mounted grenade launchers, attaining an enhanced range of 400 to 800 metres, and enabling rounds with a higher payload, greater lethality, a first shot kill probability and modified fuse technology to be fired.
Rheinmetall’s programmable airburst ammunition constitutes another important new capability, allowing troops to engage targets taking cover in trenches, behind stonewalls, etc.

Rheinmetall is also developing the GL Cerberus grenade launcher (as an underslung- or standalone system) and the magazine-loaded AGL Hydra automatic grenade launcher. The latter in particular gives the grenadier enormous firepower, since it can fire three-round bursts. Moreover, the 40mm rounds pack more punch than the US XM25 weapon system with its 25mm rounds.

Both grenade launchers feature a built-in self-regulating hydraulic shock absorber, ensuring that they can fire medium-velocity 40mm x 46 in particular without subjecting the weapon or its firer to greater stress than LV ammunition.

Rheinmetall’s 40mm x 53 high-velocity ammunition reaches a speed of 240 m/s and has a maximum effective range of 2,200 metres. Here, too, the Group supplies a wide assortment of different cartridges, including newly developed HE and HEDP airburst ammunition which is programmed by an infrared programming unit.

Rheinmetall’s new multipurpose 40mm HV-HEDP IM ESD (High Velocity-High Explosive Dual Purpose, Insensitive Munition, Electronic Self-Destruct) cartridge is ideal for engaging and defeating lightly armoured and soft targets. It has a newly developed shape charge cone capable of penetrating 80 millimetres of rolled homogeneous armour (RHA) grade K. It is the only 40mm ammunition on the market today with this kind of penetration performance. A unique nose fuse incorporating an electronic self-destruct (ESD) mechanism is optimized for high-sensitivity detonation against both hard and area targets. This system results in a dud rate significantly below that of a typical pyrotechnic or spin decay self-destruct mechanism.
The excellent accuracy of the Rheinmetall 40mm HV-HEDP cartridge is a result of its patented, proprietary propulsion unit, in which the cartridge case (including the propelling components) is fastened to the projectile (which contains the copper liner and the explosive charge). At extreme temperatures, e.g. resulting from a fuel fire, the RWM 40mm IM’s improved propulsion system prevents separation of the projectile and propulsion unit. The ammunition stays in the box, with no risk of live ammunition being scattered around the area. The 40mmx53 HEDP IM ESD is equipped with qualified IM explosives. The 40mm HV-HEDP IM ESD grenade is suitable for use in all NATO-standard weapon systems, including the HK GMG, as well as the MK19 and the MK47 grenade launchers.

The Düsseldorf-based Group also offers the Vingmate fire control unit as an ideal way of maximizing the effectiveness of HV ammunition. For instance, Rheinmetall recently won an order to supply the Canadian armed forces with the “Close Area Suppression Weapon System (CASW) C16”, consisting of a Heckler & Koch grenade machine gun (GMG) with an integrated Vingmate.