(Defense Industry Daily) While high-tech weapons items get a lot of billing, the Global War on Terror is very much an infantry war. Firepower overmatch matters in those situations. Enter the US Marine Corps’ newest weapon, recently introduced to Regimental Combat Team 5, based in Camp Fallujah: the M-32 six-shot 40mm grenade launcher.
Mystech: Because there are times when you just have to put six thermobaric grenades in a 1-meter square in under three seconds… and not just in Atlanta traffic.
During an annual symposium, Marine gunners decided an improvement was needed over the old M203 one-shot launchers that mount under their M4 or M16 rifles. The M-32 won out, and each Marine battalion will field them as an experimental weapon.
A September 2005 DID article covered the popularity of 40mm grenade systems on the modern battlefield. The M-32 is a modified Milkor MGL-140 with additional features like the buttstock, sights, foregrip, et. al. It can put all 6 rounds on target in under 3 seconds, and can fire “normal” M433 40mm grenades or specialty rounds. Specialty rounds include HELLHOUND rounds with twice the lethal radius of the M433, which will breach doors and kill anything behind them; DRACO thermobaric rounds; and even HUNTIR rounds with cameras in them that descend on a parachute and send back video. The USMC will join the Brazilian, Italian and South African militaries as MGL-140 customers, and Defense Review notes that the USMC has ordered 9,000 of them.