[DEFEXPO 2020] Indian UBGL (Under Barrel Grenade Launcher) for INSAS

    Normally, when you report from a defense expo, you only talk about new products, updates and stuff that was never seen before. But when you take a path less travelled to go to regional defense exhibitions like DEFEXPO, there are a lot of weapons there that have been around for a while but are barely known outside the region. One example is an Indian 40mm UBGL, designed to be used in conjunction with INSAS or AK rifles.

    Unfortunately, this particular under-barrel grenade launcher does not have a given name or specific designation, but it seems to be the only UBGL currently produced by the Indian military-industrial complex. Some call it ARDE UBGL, but “ARDE” is just the abbreviation of the Armament Research & Development Establishment, part of Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), that designed the weapon.

    It fires standard 40 x 46 mm rounds, developed in the late 50s for the M79 grenade launcher and currently used in M203, the M320, Milkor MGL and other less famous designs. Indian UBGL has been in service since 2010, and according to the DRDO website, over 10,000 grenade launchers were manufactured at Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli and supplied to the Indian army.

    Indian soldier on patrol with UBGL-equipped INSAS

    Indian soldier on patrol with UBGL-equipped INSAS

    In order to install the Indian UBGL, one would have to take off the handguard, which was not necessary with grenade launchers like Russian GP-25/GP-30/GP-34.

    Also, it doesn’t have a conventional trigger – to fire a shot, one has to push a button on the left side of the grenade launcher. It is hard to say how practical this feature is without testing it, but the concept seems smart. Here you can see a short video of Indian soldier firing this UBGL.

    The left side of Indian UBGL

    The left side of Indian UBGL – note the trigger button

    The right side of Indian UBGL

    The right side of Indian UBGL

    You can find the specifications for the UBGL below, along with another pamphlet about the Indian version of M240:

    Indian UBGL specs

    Indian UBGL specs

    You can also look at the video of an unknown Indian gun enthusiast installing Indian UBGL on an INSAS.

    Hopefully, Indian TFB readers will share their experiences with this UBGL in the comments.

    Vladimir Onokoy is a Russian defense industry specialist and firearms instructor. Over the years he worked in 15 different countries as a security contractor, armorer, firearms industry sales representative, product manager, and consultant.

    His articles were published in the Recoil magazine, Small Arms Review, Small Arms Defence Journal, and Silah Report, he also created several video series such as “Gun myths”, “Kalashnikov: around the world”, “Larry Vickers in Russia” and “Kalashnikov: evolution” that are available on YouTube.
    ► Email: machaksilver at gmail dot com.
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