Less Lethal Africa 40 mm grenade launcher rounds to enter production


Less Lethal Africa, the SA based riot control ammunition company has plans for its 40 mm rubber tipped round to enter production. The company is currently talking to Denel about production and marketing of the round.

Don Rickard, Less Lethal Africa’s founder, said the company had been working on refining a 40mm grenade launched prototype round for more than two years. “We had to go back to the drawing board to keep the price down and to ensure flexibility. It has been a two year fight trying to give the customers what they want,” Rickard said.

The 40mm round designed by the company is safer than other forms of the ammunition as it has a collapsible rubber nose with a cavity inside, said Rickard. The shell can be filled with pepper spray or tear gas for riot control.

The round is aimed at the military and police markets and could find one niche with border control forces that are prohibited from using live ammunition on illegal immigrants. While the market for the 40 mm round may be limited on the continent as most African countries do not have grenade launchers, the company has found interest in South Africa, Europe, and the Middle East.

To address the possibility that forces could run out of the 40 mm rounds, the company has also released a 40 mm metal insert that can be used in grenade launchers that allow the firing of a 12 gauge shotgun Less Lethal Africa round. As conventional cartridges do not fit into the metal grenade launcher insert, there is an added safety feature to the device.

At Africa Aerospace and Defence (AAD) earlier this month, Less Lethal Africa released a new breaching shell for use by police forces in opening doors. Instead of a zinc slug, which fragments once it hits a lock, the company has produced a new round that blasts out gel. Less Lethal Africa had earlier experimented with water, but believes the gel is more effective in providing entry through doors or, if necessary, blowing out tyres. A police force in the European Union recently bought the gel based breaching rounds.