Infantry: October 29, 2000

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US Special Operations Command is to test a new automatic 40mm grenade launcher next year. The STRIKER is half the weight of the Mark-19 (only 17.5kg) but has substantial technological improvements. The gun was developed by SACO Defense (now the Armament Systems division of General Dynamics). The fire control was developed by Computing Devices of Canada. The special air-burst ammunition was developed by Nammo Nordic. Striker can fire any 40mm grenade that the Mark-19 can fire, but also fires the special Nammo rounds developed specifically for it. Striker is 880mm long (35 inches), 196mm (7.7 inches) wide, and 190mm (7.5 inches) high (compared to the 1095mm, 340mm, and 208mm of the Mark 19). Striker's most important innovation is the fire control. An eye-safe laser can find the range to targets out to 2500m. The computer then programs the special Nammo shells to explode directly over the target. These shells use the Bofors 3P fuze, but without the proximity system as this is expensive and not particularly useful. The gunner has a heads up electronic sight, along with backup iron sights. A backup telescopic sight was eliminated as it was expensive and the field of view was too narrow to be used effectively. --Stephen V Cole

 


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