MKEK and Aselsan cooperate on 40mm Smart Ammunition

IDEF 2017 occurred in May of this year, but we missed this important Turkish development when it comes to ammunition. MKEK, the Turkish state-run armament company, and privately owned Aselsan signed agreements at IDEF 2017 to cooperate on the design and manufacture of “Smart” 40x46mm Low Velocity for use in UBGLs or stand alone launchers employed by the Turkish Military. The two companies have already worked together on a similar project, being the 35mm Anti-Aircraft using various technologies, most likely for different air burst capabilities. It would appear that MKEK will handle the manufacture, as it already manufactures standard 40x46mm munitions, and Aselsan will work on the actual electronics package, with the companies expertise in technology. What this “Smart” ammunition most likely entails is the ability to detonate a shell at a set distance from impact, thus denying an enemy the ability to hide behind cover. If this cooperation is successful, it will bring Turkey to the forefront within the MENA region with an advanced 40x46mm targeting capability, very rare throughout the world as well.

From Defense Turkey

Turkey’s two major defense industry companies, Aselsan and MKEK, are bringing a new dimension to their cooperation in the field of ammunition which started with the development of 35 mm Airburst Ammunition in 2010. The two companies will team up to develop a 40mm Grenade Launcher Ammunition.

The collaboration agreement was signed between the parties at IDEF 2017 fair. Following the development studies which are aimed to be completed in a short span of time, it is aimed to launch firing demonstration with the prototype was revealed by the parties.

Working with anti-aircraft munitions in a cannon is very different when compared to 40x46mm munitions in a handheld device. Instead of being surrounded by a thick chamber with multiple built-in safeties, and an elongated barrel several feet long, the companies are going to have to work with very thin steel chambers of handheld or under-barrel grenade launchers, with much shorter barrels in comparison to an anti-aircraft cannon. The U.S. Army has been working on similar “Smart” ammunition for the previous several years in the XM25 Punisher design, only to have it completely shelved after safety concerns and manufacturing difficulties and disagreements.


Infantry Marine, based in the Midwest. Specifically interested in small arms history, development, and usage within the MENA region and Central Asia. To that end, I run Silah Report, a website dedicated to analyzing small arms history and news out of MENA and Central Asia.

Please feel free to get in touch with me about something I can add to a post, an error I’ve made, or if you just want to talk guns. I can be reached at


  • Paul Rain

    This is sure to work out well. The Turkish arms industry has a solid history of manufacturing German roller-locked rifles on German equipment, supervised by German engineers, so I’m sure they will be able to develop some serious innovations in this area.

    • WOLF

      It should work out well. Considering MKE-ASELSAN have already delivered thousands of 35mm Airburst munitions for Turkish SPAAG project. All they have to do is transfer that tech and customise it for 40mm munition.

      • PK

        Oh, is that all? That’s a mountain of work, 40mm LV operates in a wholly different way. Safety margins are different, time to target is different, they get handled very roughly for an extended time before firing, less additional mass is acceptable both for payload and launcher, and so forth.

        “Just” transferring the idea from 35mm anti-air to man-portable low velocity 40mm ammo is an enormous task.

        • WOLF

          Like I said above, they would have to customise the already existing tech for the 40mm. Also, no, there is absolutely no difference between 35mm Anti-Air and man portable LV 40mm fuzzes they both have to pass NATO AOP-22 and STANAG 4369 design regulations.

  • PK

    “the companies are going to have to work with very thin steel chambers of handheld or under-barrel grenade launchers”

    Steel? Most 40x46mm barrels are aluminum.

    • SGT Fish

      I scrolled down to say the same thing.

      • SGT Fish

        though I do have an itch to build a steel barreled 40mm chambered for Mk19 rounds. that way you could shoot both LV and MV 40mm rounds and dislocate your shoulder. But now that the mk19 flash bang rounds are drying up it isn’t as tempting. Even though I am a tax stamp and machine shop away from finishing it

        • PK

          You don’t want to fire 40x53mm from the shoulder, trust me on that. The difference in projectile weight, acceleration, and velocity is outrageous.

          As you mention, anything to do with the Mk19 has been less and less fun lately, with any type of training ammo drying up.

          Still, the more people who own DDs privately, the happier I am. You ought to build something fun, but perhaps load your own ammo. I’ve been playing with reloading the 40x53mm cases, drilling a hole to punch the spent primers out, reloading with a burst disk and lesser amount of Bullseye, a lighter projectile… it’s quite doable, especially if you already have a spare Mk19 barrel on hand.

          If you’re building entirely from scratch, you’d be better served with a custom chamber (something like 40x51mm) to prevent actual HV ammo from loading and firing. Good luck on sourcing the barrel, it’s a nightmare. L/60 and L/70 barrels are where I’d start.

          Your mention of shooting 40x46mm out of a 40x53mm chamber makes me want to go see if it chambers properly. I’ve never actually checked!

  • Samuel Millwright

    You know every time i see an article about Turkey developing even more indigenous hardware that all but screams first world technology transfers …

    I think to myself, oh great! People who not at all secretly hate us that we’re pretty much guaranteed to fight a war against directly, and are already fighting their proxies in how many god damn places already, is getting even more s*** with which to kill my friends and relatives with from the military industrial complex i pay taxes to keep in business!

    Turkey isn’t even a frenemy they’re straight up, no joke, a rabid dog we just don’t have the resources to put down at the current juncture…

    Can all y’all at GDOTS etc stop making any such mission to put them down harder and harder please?!

    K thx bai

    • Jeremy

      Turkey is that “friend” you don’t really like, but stay close with because you can stay at his place while you work in the area. (ie keep military bases in the Middle East)

      • Samuel Millwright


        I know exactly what you’re saying and all but i still think we should impregnate Turkey’s wife, burn it’s trailer park down, and drop it’s dog off at the pound on our way out of town…. Yesterday preferably!

    • Jimmy the cracker of corn

      Tell that to Trump. Erdogan and Trump are butt buddies.

    • Omerli

      Infantile trash talk. TFB is about weaponry and more rather than less coverage is what we need.

  • Brett baker

    Sadly, not importable.

  • iksnilol

    Sweet Jesus, isn’t a G3 heavy enough by default?

    • Mladić

      I thought they had ditched the G3 for some HK417 clone? I guess they only want 80-100 rds as a combat load out.

  • Jeremy

    Eagles care not for what turkeys thinks.
    Enjoy our 60’s tech, it’s better than anything you could’ve come up with anyways.

    All stupid trash-talking aside, I have nothing against Turkey or her people, I just look at where the the West and Turkey is headed, and sadly, they are not the same places. Join the Chinese and the Russia if you wish, but know that the true threats to them have always been each other, not the US and our allies.

  • Hereherehurrah

    Don’t get too big for your britches gobble boy. We will call ole Jan Sobieski with Greek volunteers to pluck your feathers. Russia would be delighted to help, as I’m sure other Balkan nations would be. You think Russia will shed blood for Turkey after the downing of their jet, murder of said pilot, overt state support in selling ISIS oil, and threats to fluid Europe with even more “cultural enrichment “? Russia plays the long game. Their not cutting Turkey’s throat is only due to convince and NATO protection. Russia is probably banking on a break up of NATO or a kicking out of Turkey before they seek revenge in earnest.

    • Mladić

      I wouldn’t even say Russia is China’s biggest threat. It isn’t like the Chinese have to worry about Russia pouring over the border. Russia on the other hand likely couldn’t stop a Chinese seizure of Vladivostok and Siberia without resorting to nbc weapons.

    • Timtim

      oil lies exposed years ago ..good morning media victim

  • John John Slade

    Using Steel? Seriously? That mean it’s Steel Rain.

  • Omerli

    Nicely done and informative. Thanks

  • No politics—- stay on topic

    • No one

      Ok, let’s be real here then, sure, I went into politics in response to a very hostile commenter, but can you really tell me he isn’t doing the same right now?

      I’m not trying to give you —- since I know moderating this site has to be a pain, but his comment isn’t exactly impartial on that topic.