Britain’s GMG Order Illustrates 2 Key Trends

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Royal Marines + HK GMG(click to view full) The infantry soldier sits at the center of gravity of current wars. While institutional infatuation with larger projects often makes defense departments slow to adapt to this reality, improvements to the individual soldier’s equipment and firepower overmatch are generally where countries will find the most bang for their buck if they wish to make a difference on the ground. While countries like the USA have been using 40mm grenade launchers as standard equipment for some time, and are even introducing new options like the terminator-style Milkor M-32, Britain has lagged behind. As the MoD article noted, “views coming back from the front line were that [.50 cal machine guns] needed some high explosive back-up to provide full force protection and security to airfields and forward operating bases.” To fix this problem, in November 2006 Britain bought 40 Heckler & Koch 40mm grenade machine guns for use in Afghanistan by the Royal Marines. The weapon is exactly what its name implies, firing up to 340 grenades per minute to burst around enemies up to 1.5 km away. Although the ammunition can be used against light armour, its main role is infantry suppression and […]

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