South Korea looks to be the first country to deploy a next-gen airburst grenade / assault rifle weapon in combat. Korea Times reports …
South Korean troops to be deployed in Afghanistan will be armed with the latest K-11 airburst assault rifles for self-defense, according to the Ministry of National Defense.
The ministry unveiled the timeline as well as the troop numbers and equipment to be sent to the Central Asian nation, last week.
About 350 soldiers will be dispatched to Afghanistan with the main mission of protecting 120 South Korean civilian reconstruction workers, Defense Minister Kim Tae-young said in a National Assembly session. Two dozen civilian reconstruction workers have already been sent to the war-torn country.
Built in the style of the now defunct XM29 OICW, the Daewoo K11 features a 5.56mm assult rifle mated to a airburst grenade launcher and ballistics computer. Where is differs from the XM29 is that the grenades are 20mm, not 25mm, and the grenade launcher is bolt action, not semi-automatic.
Like the XM29, a ballistic computer programs each grenade before firing, instructing it how long after firing before detonation. This video of a prototype K11 demonstartes the functionality.
It will be very interesting to see how well this concept works in real combat. The US Army tests found that a 20mm grenade was not big enough to be effective in a airburst configuration. Unless I am mistaken, the shrapnel from an airburst grenade will go in all directions, and therefor at least 50% is going up instead of down towards the intended target.
Many thanks to Snafu Solomon for sending me the link.