Sunday, September 20, 2020

U.S. Army reveals plans to buy more newest 40mm grenade launchers

The U.S. Army Contracting Command intends to increase the maximum purchases quantities of the newest 40mm grenade launchers, according to a Friday Federal Business Opportunities notice.

The U.S. Army in support of the Project Manager Soldier Lethality is seeking industry sources to fullfill the requirement for the 40mm Grenade Launchers, include the M320A1.

The service has a requirement for the 40mm M320 and 40mm M320A1 Grenade Launchers (GLs). Each variance of the GL consists of a 40mm, single shot, grenade launcher that can deliver aimed fire to area targets at a distance of up to 350 meters. It is capable of being utilized in both stand-alone and M4 mounted configurations.

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“The M320 GL will be purchased in either or both of two (2) variations at the Government’s discretion: M320A1 GL with M4A1 mounting hardware or M320 GL with M16 mounting hardware,” the Nov. 1 notice said. “The specific GL variations to be acquired will be set forth in each awarded delivery order.”

M320 Grenade Launcher is the U.S. military’s designation for a new single-shot 40mm grenade launcher system to replace the M203 for the U.S. Army, while other services will keep using the older M203. The M320 uses the same High-Low Propulsion System as the M203.

The M320 model weighs five pounds, two more than the model it is replacing. The additional weight comes from the M320’s much more durable barrel, which is meant to give the weapon a longer lifespan. Rounds fired through a lighter barrel can deteriorate accuracy much quickly they would deteriorate the accuracy of a heavier one.

The M320 has three major parts: a grenade launcher with a rifled barrel, Day/Night Sight (DNS) produced by Insight Technology, Inc and a handheld Laser Range Finder (LRF).

The M320 can be used as a weapon itself or attached to a carbine rifle. The heavier barrel causes the weapon to have a longer lifespan because the more rounds fired through a lighter barrel can deteriorate accuracy much quicker than a thicker one.

Photo by Pfc. Laurie Ellen Schubert

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Executive Editor

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