In an interview given to INTERFAX news agency, Vladimir Lepin, the CEO of Russian “Techmash” Concern, told about the current status of the 40mm AGS-40 “Balkan” automatic grenade launcher. Acording to Lepin, the AGS-40 is being extensively tested in their army since 2017. Right now they are making the final design changes, particularly to improve the night vision scope, disintegrating belt, loading machine and other minor elements of the system. They are planning to finish the testing and adopt the AGS-40 “Balkan” by the end of 2018.
About AGS-40 Balkan:
AGS-40 Balkan uses caseless 40mm grenades which are similar to the smaller VOG-25 grenades. Upon ignition, the gases from the propellant charge exit the base of the grenade thus pressurizing the chamber and propelling the grenade out of the barrel. The firing pin of the launcher doubles as a gas piston to cycle the action.
The 40mm caseless grenade has several advantages over the 30x29mm VOG-17 and VOG-30 grenades that are currently in use with Russian armed forces. The larger grenade carries more payload and has more fragmentation potential. The effective range of the 40mm caseless grenade is 2500 meters which is significantly more than the 1,700-meter range of the 30mm grenades. The tradeoff is the increased bulk and weight of the grenade: 430 versus 350 grams. The caseless grenades are loaded into disintegrating belts supplied in 20 round drum-shaped belt cases. The empty weight of the AGS-40 with the tripod is 32 kilograms. The rate of fire of this grenade launcher is 400 rpm.
About “Techmash” Concern (excerpt from Techmash website):
Holding company JSC “Scientific-Production Concern” “Mechanical Engineering” was established by the State Corporation “Rostec” in 2011. Concern “Techmash” specializes in the development and production of ammunition supplies for the combat capabilities of the main strike forces of the Armed Forces.
The structure of the holding company JSC “SPC” Techmash “currently includes 48 organizations of industry of munitions and special chemicals, 47 companies belong to the military-industrial complex and included in the consolidated register of organizations of military-industrial complex of the Russian Federation. Many enterprises and research institutions that are included in the holding company, have a history that spans several decades. The organization of the holding company are located in 15 regions of the Russian Federation.
“Гендиректор “Техмаша”: авиабомба “Дрель” будет принята на вооружение”. (2018, January 08). INTERFAX. Retrieved from: http://www.interfax.ru/interview/593861
Liholetov I. (2018, January 09). “Гранатомет АГС-40 «Балкан» примут на вооружение в 2018 году“. Defence.Ru. Retrieved from: https://defence.ru/article/granatomet-ags-40-balkan-primut-na-vooruzhenie-v-2018-godu/