Rheinmetall is introducing the world’s first 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) at Eurosatory 2022. Both weight, dimensions and handling of the SSW40 are similar to assault rifles. Thanks to a recoil-reducing and selfregulating recoil system, the SSW40 (Squad Support Weapon 40) can fire all available 40mm Low Velocity (LV) ammunition types as well as the new Rheinmetall 40mm Medium Velocity (MV) ammunition. Due to the 40mm MV ammunition, the development of the SSW40 is closely related to the turret independent secondary weapon system (TSWA, Turmunabhängige Sekundärwaffenanlage in German) for the Puma infantry fighting vehicle. The design is intended to broaden the grenade-firing capabilities of modern infantry at the squad-level – suitable for unseating those stubborn foes behind embankments, under cover, or in buildings.
The TSWA enables the engagement of targets in the immediate vicinity of the vehicle with both non-lethal effectors as well as the lethal warheads of the new 40mm MV ammunition family. The market introduction of this 40mm MV ammunition family was decisive for the SSW40, the development of which will be completed in 2023. The 40mm MV ammunition family combines Rheinmetall’s combined experience in 40mm LV and High Velocity (HV) ammunition. Via a quick magazine change, the SSW40 can be used in any near peer as well as asymmetric conflict scenario and offers superior firepower in any terrain, even against medium-weight armoured vehicles. The interfaces on the SSW40 also allow the inclusion of laser light modules, fire control sights as well as IR programmers for aerial explosive point ammunition.
Therefore, the SSW40 can be used with the following ammunition types:
- HE Fragmentation (HEFRAG16)
- Anti-Tank (HEDP16)
- Door Breaching (HEBE14)
- Air Burst (HEAB)
- Training (TPM, TPM-T)
- Illumination / Fog
- Sound & Flash and Stimulus Ammunition (CS)
The mobile battlefield of the future may very well require the facilities of the SSW40 where on-the-spot fire support particularly in urban fighting environments and scenarios. The advantage of the Rheinmetall approach is its assault rifle styling and handling, making it a portable and ideal infantry-level solution. The launcher’s design arrangement and function are very “rifle-like” as it employs the proven assault rifle configuration complete with shoulder stock, barrel assembly, and integrated pistol grip / trigger unit. Sighting devices allow for some accuracy-at-range as the weapon can reach out to targets as far away as 900 meters. Rheinmetall bills the weapon as the world’s first 40mm-class automatic-action, magazine-fed, shoulder-fired grenade launcher all-in-one system. Development of the SSW40 is expected to conclude during 2023.