$12M for MK47 Striker40 GMGs
General Dynamics Armament and Technical Products recently announced a $12 million contract from the U.S. government for production of the MK47 STRIKER40 lightweight grenade machine gun.
40mm grenade machine guns like the Mk19 are extremely effective weapons against lightly protected opponents, offering fast firepower overmatch against superior numbers. The STRIKER40 updates the standard GMG by dropping the gun’s weight from 77 pounds/ 35 kg without the tripod mount (Mk19 MOD 3) to 39.6 pounds/ 18kg (Mk47 MOD 0). That change, in and of itself, has helped spur early use by US special operations forces, and led to scrutiny of interesting new technologies like Vinghog AS’ low-recoil “soft mounts”. When assembled with its own tripod and sight for carriage on foot, however, the Mk47’s weight rises to 90 pounds/ 41 kg.
The AN/PVG-1 Lightweight Video Sight (LVS) offers Striker40 operators 3X magnification, a laser range finder and ballistic computer, and interface connectors for an optional thermal night sight attachment. LVS is installed on the right side of the weapon, and is controlled by buttons and 4-position “joystick” located at the rear of the receiver, between and above the spade grips. These additions allow the gunner to fire programmed airbursts that detonate at precise distances specified by the LVS’ laser rangefinder. Opponents hiding behind a wall or in a trench can no longer depend on their protection, which is very useful in urban fights and counterinsurgency campaigns. The flip side is an increase in the cost of each weapon, and in the associated maintenance burdens.