Among the dazzling amount of weapons displayed at the LAAD 2017 Defence & Security exhibition in Rio de Janeiro (April 4-7), a lesser-known name called the attention in the South African Pavilion, the Rippel Effect, a privately-owned military equipment and systems manufacturer. The company has been supplying a range of own-designed grenade launchers, sighting and observation systems, and accessories to defense and law enforcement agencies worldwide, with clients in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, and Latin America.
The latest addition to its products portfolio is the RLL37/38 Less-Lethal Launcher for the indicated rounds in the name, but also being available in the 40mm caliber. Using a semi-automatic mechanical advance mechanism (patent pending), it also allows forward and reverse round selection without opening the launcher. This enables intentional skipping of rounds and quick reverting to skipped ones, thus enhancing operational flexibility. The six-shot cylinder can’t be over-tensioned when sprung, and the launcher has a fail-safe feature that prevents it from being used with lethal grenades. It’s a lightweight platform at 3.7kg, and pretty compact: 700-780mm (stock adjustment) length, 225mm height, and 143mm width, being fitted with a forward support grip and Picatinny rails on top of the receiver and around the forward grip area.
Another Ripple Effects product is the MSGL40, or Multi-Shot Grenade Launcher for 40x46mm low-velocity grenades as well as less-lethal ammunition not longer than 140mm. Designed as an area weapon, the six LV grenades housed in the cylinder can be launched in less than three seconds at ranges up to 400 meters in a terminal area of 20 x 60 meters. In pinpoint roles, the launcher is accurate at ranges of up to 150 meters. It weighs 5kg, just about as an average infantry rifle fitted with an underbarrel grenade launcher.
Fully qualified and in service with several forces worldwide, the XRGL40 Extended Range Multi-Shot Grenade Launcher is the company’s best known product, being favored by infantry grenadiers and special operations forces due to its ability to be a force multiplier as an area weapon and also for non-lethal employment (peacekeeping forces and LE agencies). This 4th generation weapon launches both standard 40x46mm low-velocity (LV) type rounds and medium-velocity (MV) 40×51 ammunition, in addition to less-lethal grenades without the need to reconfigure the launcher. Targets are consistently hit with good accuracy at ranges of 800 meters, which eventually go down to about 250 meters when extreme precision is required. Weighing 5kg empty, lengths are 650-730mm (stock closed-open) for its 230mm barrel (RH twist, 0 to 1 turn pitch in 1.2m).
A unique offer from the South African company is its recoil-buffered double mount specially developed and qualified for the XRGL40, no modifications required, capable of being used as a primary or secondary weapon system for vehicles and boats. Weight of the mount alone is only 13.7kg, and it uses a universal quick-release pin that allows for fast installation and removal from the platform used, vehicle or boat. The gunner using the system is capable of generating considerable firepower with the two launchers installed: 12 rounds within 4 seconds. Two gunner positions are possible. When mounted on a pintle mount facing forward on the vehicle center line, a 180-degree arc of fire is possible, while mounted on a swing arm and depending on the gunner’s position in the vehicle, an up to 270-degree arc of fire is generally available. Oh, yes: depending on the tactical situation, both grenade launchers can be quickly detached from the mount and individually used by two soldiers.