The U.S. Marine Corps has ordered
1.4 million Mk 281 40mm training grenades for the Mk 19 automatic grenade
launcher. Each grenade will cost about $26. The 40mm grenade has been around
for over four decades, and is a very effective anti-personnel weapon. The training
grenade emits burst of special orange dye when it hits, that can be seen over a
kilometers away in daylight, or about half that distance at night (using
night-vision goggles.) The actual (explosive) round cannot always be seen when
it explodes (especially if the ground is wet).
The training rounds come in 32 round belts, and
gives troops a realistic way to become accurate with the Mk 19 during training.
The Mk 19 normally fires one or two rounds a second. Effective range, for
accurate fire, is about 1,500 meters, although a really good gunner can hit
targets at two kilometers. The 40mm grenade will kill within five meters of
impact, and wound people up to fifteen meters away.