Steyr Arms Secures Contract for New Grenade Launcher with the German Bundeswehr

Matthew Moss
by Matthew Moss
GL 40 (Steyr Arms)

Austria’s Steyr Arms have announced they have been awarded a contract to supply elements of the German armed forces with their GL 40. Steyr’s 40mm grenade launcher can be mounted under the barrel of a service rifle or it can be mounted on a Steyr-designed standalone stock with an adjustable buttstock.

The single-shot launcher fires standard 40x46mm low and medium velocity grenades and weighs 2.58 lbs. It has a two-position safety catch and a hinged, rather than sliding, barrel that pivots. The barrel is made from cold hammer forged steel. The system has rail mounting points for aiming systems and is 10.4 inches in length.

The Bundeswehr’s procurement department BAAINBw launched a request for proposals in the summer of 2022. This request outlined a requirement for up to 4,776 grenade launchers. Steyr’s announcement did not state the value of the procurement or the quantity ordered by the Bundeswehr or the units destined to receive them.

A graphic featuring the Steyr GL 40 posted on social media with Steyr's announcement (Steyr Arms)

Below is Steyr’s announcement in full:

STEYR ARMS, Austria’s leading firearms manufacturer with a history dating back to 1864, is pleased to announce its successful bid in the competitive
tender process to supply the German Bundeswehr with its advanced GL-40
grenade launcher system.

In a milestone achievement for STEYR ARMS, this marks the successful
participation in a Bundeswehr tender, and its GL-40 launcher has been chosen
over strong competition from other industry leaders.

About the GL-40 Grenade Launcher:
The GL-40, originally designed as an attachment for the globally recognized
STEYR AUG assault rifle, boasts exceptional robustness and precision. Its
versatility allows it to be used both as an attachment and as a stand-alone
device, meeting the diverse operational needs of the German Bundeswehr.

GL 40 (Steyr Arms)

Key Features:
– Compact and lightweight design for easy mounting on various assault rifles.
– Modular construction for simplified maintenance and component
– User-friendly operation with quick transition from under-barrel to stand-alone
without the need for special tools.
– Compatibility with a range of sighting devices, including the proprietary
STEYR mechanical sight and other Picatinny rail-mounted options.
– Cold-forged barrel for enhanced durability and longevity.
– Enhanced safety features, including a “Double Action only” trigger system
with multiple safety mechanisms.

“We are honoured to be selected by the German Bundeswehr for this
important contract,” said a spokesperson for STEYR ARMS. “Our GL-40
grenade launcher reflects our commitment to innovation, quality, and
reliability, values that resonate with military and law enforcement agencies

Find out more at

Matthew Moss
Matthew Moss

Managing Editor: & Overt Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. Matt is also runs The Armourer's Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms. Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news. Reach Matt at:

More by Matthew Moss

Join the conversation
3 of 31 comments
  • Uncle Yar Uncle Yar on Apr 24, 2024

    Compact, light, side loading, way less bulky than the M320 (or AG36 if we're using HK designation).

    Good choice logically. Questionable politically, and HK is probably pissed. But with how bulky the 320 is, I say mald, git gud

    • Nasty! Nasty! on May 12, 2024

      @Uncle Yar US Army should surplus its M320s to the public and then buy GL40s as proper underbarrel launchers.

  • Paul L Paul L on Apr 25, 2024

    I remember long ago talking with a Vietnam vet who carried an M79 as his only firearm -- and he loved it. The 40mm launcher is quite versatile: HE, smoke, buckshot, parachute flare, star cluster, CS, ground marker, and chalk rounds. No other small arm has such a large variety of ammo. You just can't carry as many rounds compared to rifle/handgun bullets.