The German-based company Rheinmetall has finally revealed its detachable automatic grenade launcher known as “The Squad Support Weapon 40 or SSW40” at the Eurosatory exhibition. However, this incredible weaponry technology is similar to assault rifles because of its operational capabilities like ergonomics, handling maneuvers, and stipulations as stated by the company. This grenade launcher has the capability to shoot with a medium velocity and at a specification of 40 mm which leaves a huge impact even on small units being targeted.
As stated in the Rheinmetall press release, “The SSW40 is the world’s first automatic, magazine-loaded, shoulder-fired grenade launcher.” It should be noted that this magnanimous grenade launcher has been awaited for a long time and is the result of a long manufacturing process. It would be interesting to note that “Rheinmetall’s Hydra weapon” was a prototype of SSW40 and was developed with the collaboration of Rheinmetall and Milkor USA. The prototype was launched in 2012 and for the final exhibition, it was demonstrated at the “Annual SHOT Show small arms trade show” in the United States in 2016.
The specifics of this Hydra weapon detail a hydraulic buffer tube which will ultimately get hooked up to the barrel. It was designed to shoot 10 rounds in less than two seconds and that too, by being fully automatic. If we talk about the SSW40, its self-regulating recoil system has made its 40mm low velocity (LV) projectile range more sophisticated by incorporating medium velocity (MV) ammunition technology. This MV technology consists of “high-explosive fragmentation, airburst, and anti-tank types, as well as non-lethal cartridges.” Hence, a wide range of options are available in this assault, like an automatic grenade launcher.
As per the Rheinmetall press release, “The new MV ammunition has a significantly increased velocity and a flat trajectory, allowing targets to be engaged more quickly and increasing the effective range of the system to 900 meters. Combined with the broad spectrum of Rheinmetall’s 40mm LV/MV ammunition portfolio, the infantry user achieves unprecedented flexibility and effectiveness on the battlefield of the future. “
However, talking about the fighting trajectory in combat scenarios and the situations where the risk of danger is asymmetrical, then this SSW40 can bring forth “all-terrain firepower” functionality with just a little change in firepower storage. This is what we call the “magazine swap,” which will enable the combater to lock onto the armored targets by making just a small change in the magazine.
Moreover, the supplementary features which are incorporated into the SSW40 include the laser light, fire control sights, and infrared programming capabilities for repeating ammunition. To that end, if the SSW40 goes at such a pace in its coming developmental years, then it would soon overcome the barrier of enough magazine changes and be able to easily fire with medium velocity (MV) ammunition ranges, thus ensuring mobility and vigor.