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.