Sunday, March 04, 2007

Silent Grenade Launcher

This is an intriguing development, the QLT89 (or Type 89) is essentially a 50mm, lightweight mortar tube that can be used without giving away the firer's position on the battlefield.

The weapon is mainly equipped by infantry platoons and special operations forces to provide a long range, indirect fire support against point targets, such as machinegun positions and snipers. The weapon has a very low acoustic signature, and fires smokeless, flashless ammunitions.

The 50mm HE grenade is 330mm in length and weights 700g. It is fitted with a safety mechanism which stops the grenade from detonating during the initial 50~100m of its flight. Upon detonation, the grenade can produce 600 prefabricated fragments, which scatter over a 16m radius area. A well trained gunner can reach a rate of firing of 5~10 rounds/min.

I guess you could consider this a low-tech alternative to the US Army's XM-25 airburst weapon. The Type 89 doesn't have any fancy range-finding ability but it does fire a much bigger shell, providing increased damage to enemy positions- and it beats the XM-25's max range by a good 300m. I'll guarantee the unit cost is an awful lot lower too.

1 comment:

crotalus said...

Coming soon to a neighborhood near you!