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Contracts - Awards | Guns - Personal Weapons | New Systems Tech | Other Corporation | R&D - Contracted | R&D - Private | USA

M203 Grenade Launchers: Still Ordered, But Facing Competition

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M203 on M4 Carbine(click to view full) Airtronic USA, Inc. in Elk Grove Village, IL recently announced a 5-year, indefinite-delivery/ indefinite-quantity contract from US Army TACOM Rock Island Arsenal, IL. The firm will produce up to 50,000 M203 and M203A2 40mm Grenade Launchers. The contract’s initial $4.55 million order is for 5,266 weapons, which implies that the total order could be worth around $43 million, if all options are exercised (W52H09-10-D-0173). The front-loading M203 fits under the US military’s rifles, allowing troops to fire a single 40mm grenade, while keeping their rifle ready to fire in normal mode. This is in contrast to single shot “bullet trap” systems like the SIMON/GREM door breaching grenade, which are designed to fit over the barrel of the rifle – or to multiple-round, dedicated 40mm grenade launchers like the US military’s MSGL. Airtronic has been manufacturing the M203 family of 40mm Grenade Launchers (M203s, M203A1s, and M203A2s) since 2006, and says that it has delivered 24,700 launchers without a single field failure. Even so, the M203 is facing serious competition for service within the US military. HK M320 on M4(click to view full) Its primary threat is HK’s M320, whose 2005 contract led to […]

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