$29.4M in Contracts Related to 40mm Grenade Systems
40mm grenades are a potent battlefield weapon. Fired singly from an M203 rifle mount, or in a devastating rain from a gun like the Mk19 and its competitors/successors, the 40mm grenade brings considerable firepower to the infantry fight. It’s also lethal against unarmored or lightly armored vehicles. Some companies are even offering shotgun-style repeating launchers, like Milkor’s MGL-140 – or even weapons that can be fired around corners!
In recent days, the US military has issued a series of contracts related to 40mm grenade weapons.
Small business qualifier DSE (DBA Balimoy) in Tampa, FL won a $6.8 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract (W52P1J-05-C-0036) for “a 40mm Family System.” Balimoy has a history of precision machining work for 40mm grenade casings et. al. Work will be performed in Tampa, FL and is expected to be complete by Sept. 30, 2010. Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web on Nov. 15, 2004, and six bids were received. The U.S. Army Field Support Command, Rock Island, IL issued the contract.
Small business qualifier AMTEC Corp. in Janesville, WI won a $7.9 million modification to a firm-fixed-price contract for “a 40mm Grenade System.” Work will be performed in Janesville, WI and is expected to be complete by Sept. 30, 2010. Bids were solicited via the World Wide Web on Nov. 15, 2004, and six bids were received. The U.S. Army Field Support Command, Rock Island, IL isasued the contract (W52P1J-05-C-0030).
General Dynamics subsidiary Saco Defense Industries in Burlington, VT received a $14.7 million firm-fixed-price contract for Mk19 Grenade Machine Guns. This would cover approximately 1,000 weapons.
The Mk19 was originally developed to provide the U.S. Navy with an effective riverine patrol weapon in Vietnam. A Product Improvement Program was initiated in the late 1970s resulting in the Mk19 Mod-3. Its volume of exploding 40mm grenades brings heavy firepower to infantry fights, and it has replaced the M2 Browning .50 cal machine gun in some units and on some vehicles. It is no less heavy, however, at 79 pounds (up to 137.5 pounds with tripod). The Mk19 can also be used as part of the CROWS remotely-operated weapon system.
The lighter (63 pounds, 107 pounds with tripod) H&K GMG is used by some U.S. Special forces as a key area suppression weapon, and a Mk19 successor system, designated the Mk47 Stryker Mod0, is just finishing development. Then there’s the XM309 25mm machine gun, which is still in development.
Work on this Mk19 contract will be performed in Saco, ME and is expected to be complete by Feb. 28, 2007. This was a sole source contract initiated on June 21, 2005 by the U.S. Army Tank-Automotive and Armaments Command at Picatinny Arsenal, AL (W15QKN-05-C-0621).
The Mk19 has served for a long time, and it will doubtless be used well into the future by the US military and by other armies around the world. Yet a new era is dawning in 40mm weapons, and a plethora of successors and specialized 40mm squad level complements are on the way.