Milkor sets its sights on global defence shows


Multi-shot grenade launcher specialist Milkor is showcasing its growing product range, from grenade launchers to unmanned aerial vehicles, at the most important defence shows around the world as it continues to expand its capabilities and establish international subsidiaries.

Milkor got off to a strong start this year by unveiling its new automatic grenade launcher and unmanned combat aerial vehicle (UCAV) at IDEX in the United Arab Emirates this February. At the beginning of March next year, Milkor will be taking part in the 2022 World Defence Show in Saudi Arabia’s capital Riyadh, where it will be displaying its UCAV, amongst other products, and launching new offices in the Kingdom.

With offices in Saudi Arabia and the UAE, Milkor is growing a strong presence in the Middle East and in support of this will be exhibiting at the International Defence Exhibition Iraq in Baghdad between 19 and 22 March 2022.

Milkor opened an office in New Delhi, India, in 2020 as it expands its reach outside South Africa, and to further entrench its position in the regional market, it will be exhibiting its products and services at one of Asia’s largest defence exhibitions: DefExpo in Gandhinagar, India. This runs from 11 to 13 March 2022.

Next year Milkor will also take part in Defence and Security in Bangkok, Thailand, from 29 August to 1 September, Defence Services Asia (DSA) from 28 to 31 March in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Africa’s biggest defence trade show, the Africa Aerospace and Defence Expo (AAD) in Pretoria from 21 to 25 September. The latter show, on Milkor’s home ground, will see the company display its complete lineup of products, including 40 mm grenade launchers, unmanned aerial vehicles and 4×4 armoured vehicle, amongst others.

Participation at these events is part and parcel of Milkor’s strategy to remain a major global defence supplier, offering a wide range of hardware and services. Remaining amongst its core capabilities is its 40 mm grenade launcher range, with Milkor remaining a supplier of choice for 40 years – its original six-shot Y2 launcher was taken into South African military service in 1983.

Since inception, Milkor has sold well over 60 000 grenade launcher systems to nearly 70 countries around the world. The company has seen an uptick in sales in the past two years, selling to countries in Asia, Africa and Europe. Despite successful efforts in expanding capabilities to air, land, and sea in recent years, Milkor is still actively developing new 40 mm products and improving existing 40 mm weapon systems.

One of its most recent customers was the South African National Defence Force, which in late 2020 officially took delivery of several hundred Y4 launchers under Project Kamogelo. The Y4 is a variant of the latest SuperSix multi-shot launcher, which can effectively shoot medium velocity ammunition up to 800 metres. Upgraded reloading mechanisms, improved firing systems and a quad picatinny rail mark the latest evolution of this proven series.

The SuperSix is Milkor’s flagship and it can fire low and medium velocity ammunition. Other products in the 40 mm line-up include the Anti-Riot 37/38/40 mm multi-shot launcher, Under Barrel Grenade Launcher, and 37/38 and 40 mm Stopper Convertible single shot launchers. The original Stopper was launched in 1984 as a single-shot weapon with an effective range of 375 metres but has been improved greatly since then.

The Milkor Mk1 L/S weapons were developed in 2003 to improve on the original Y2 design with the Mk1 L having a longer cylinder to accommodate specialized low velocity less lethal ammunition. A simplistic design and minimal components allow these weapons to be fully submerged in water or buried in sand and still function as intended.

The Milkor Anti-Riot (MAR) was designed in 2008 and specifically intended to be used with 37/38 and 40 mm less lethal anti-riot ammunition. A new version of the MAR is currently being developed and includes a lightweight design, upgraded firing mechanism and additional ergonomic improvements.

The Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) is a lightweight, single shot grenade launcher that fits snuggly under the barrel of any assault rifle. This features an effective range of up to 400 metres, button trigger mechanism and side break open action.

Finally, Milkor is expanding its 40 mm weapon capabilities to high velocity ammunition with the development of its Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL). This weapon is undergoing its final stages of testing. The AGL is designed to be used as a medium to long range suppressive fire weapon with a maximum range of 2 200 metres.

“From a single product developed 40 years ago, Milkor has grown from its roots in South Africa to tackle the global market head-on. Innovating and holding its own in the international arena, it has cemented its position as the OEM of 40 mm weapon systems. Backed by an experienced team of R & D engineers, visionary leadership and cutting-edge manufacturing facilities, Milkor will continue to establish itself as a world leader across all fields,” the company said.