The German Bundeswehr (German Army) is going to equip more vehicles with the Heckler & Koch GMW (GranatMaschinenWaffe) in the common NATO caliber 40 x 53 mm.
The weapon is perhaps more known, as on H&Ks own homepage, as the GMG which you can study more in detail here. It is a recoil-operated, inertia bolt, and fires 40 mm grenades from an open bolt, hence the abbreviation from Grenade Machine Gun.
The H&K grenade launchers are to be integrated into the remote-controlled Light Weapon Station called FLW200 (see details below).
The purchasing department of BAAINBw placed the order in the end of September, and the main intention is for the system to serve as a self-protection of reconnaissance vehicles, but it can also be used in more offensive roles if needed.
In total, the deal is worth roughly 4.5 million U.S. dollars and deliveries will go on until the year 2021.
The H&K used as stand-alone, as used by NATO enhanced Forward Presence Battle Group Latvia.
Facts about the REMOTE CONTROLLED LIGHT WEAPON STATION – FLW 200:
Remote controlled active self-defense with an effective range of up to ca. 2000 m.
Modular and efficientThe remote controlled Light Weapon Station FLW 200 is constructed in a completely modular design. Via a standardized interface weapons of calibers 7,62/12,7 mm up to a 40 mm grenade launcher can be integrated quickly and safely. The interface and operating software permit the weapon system to be changed within minutes. The respective armaments – from the machine gun to the grenade launcher – are automatically detected and the weapon station adapts its ballistics accordingly.
Adequately encountering any threat
Thanks to the simple adaptation without roof opening and their low weight, the FLW 200 can be employed across almost all vehicle types and also autonomously. – such as for camp protection. The same weapon station, for example, can be moved from a MBT to a low-protection patrol vehicle. Automatic vehicle detection, weapons, optoelectronic module, standardized operating and display concept, as well as cross-system standardized operating and display concept as well as an efficient safety and test system guarantee simple integration and operability. The safety system of the weapon station takes into account the vehicle contours as well as the vehicle specific array of hatches, doors and sectors – the possibility of accidentally firing at the own vehicle is thereby eliminated.
Everything in sight
Modular optoelectronic sensor systems also guarantee optimized field surveillance, target acquisition and combat by day, night or under poor visibility. The system comprises a high-resolution CCD color camera with zoom, a powerful thermal imaging device (cooled or non-cooled), a unique image fusion function and a laser rangefinder for the modular surveillance, operating and display concept of the weapon stations.
Best response possibilities
The high elevation aiming angle from -15° to +70° offers distinct advantages, also in urban mission scenarios. The efficient combination of weapon options, high grade optoelectronics and stabilization guarantee a fast and precise reaction to threats, even when driving.
The FLW 200 additionally allows:
- Adaption of protection systems (fog, NLW, etc.)
- Adaption of further weapons of similar caliber
- Adaption of ballistic protection elements
- Integration sensors, such as „sniper detection“
- Scan mode
- Adaption to command and simulation systems, recording software, etc.
Sources: Heckler & Koch (Bundeswehr beschafft Fahrzeugbewaffnung bei Heckler & Koch in Millionenhöhe) and KMW (including top picture)