Grenade launcher specialist Rippel Effect has, in conjunction with the United Arab Emirates’ International Golden Group, developed a novel 40 mm grenade launcher for light unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs). It was showcased aboard a UAV at the UMEX defence show in Abu Dhabi this week.
The system was first unveiled at the IDEX defence show in Abu Dhabi in February 2019 when it was revealed that Rippel Effect had designed and developed the 40 mm launcher, which the International Golden Group (IGG) will integrate at its facilities in the United Arab Emirates.
The launcher has either three (DLP3) or six (DLP6) fixed barrels, which are mounted vertically underneath a UAV and fired with an electronic trigger mechanism. The system has been designed to fit onto various UAV platforms.
Each of the removable barrels has one round of 40x46mm low velocity or less-lethal ammunition and can be fired individually, in sequence or together.
“This configuration is a sensible adaptation from Rippel’s proven and successful flagship 40mm handheld launcher, designed for a specifically identified tactical requirement,” IGG deputy executive officer Khalifa Al Balooshi told Janes last year.
At the International Unmanned Defence Exhibition this week, the 40 mm grenade launcher was mounted under an Acecore quadcopter UAV, developed by the Dutch company in collaboration with the United Arab Emirates, Army Recognition reports. The systems can be mounted on other light UAVs.
Other companies are also working on 40 mm grenade launchers. In late 2019 it emerged that Skyborne Technologies’ Cerberus GL UAV was being evaluated by the United States Army. This 6 kg UAV has a range of 3 km and can fire three 40 mm grenades.
Meanwhile, Australian firm DefendTex has produced the Drone-40, a loitering platform that can be fired from a 40 mm grenade launcher. Four pop-out rotor blades can keep it in the air for 12 minutes when carrying a 110 gram payload. It can carry explosive or surveillance payloads.