Procurement: Seeing Is Believing


August 23, 2007: 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.


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