Specialist South African grenade launcher company Milkor will soon launch a new range of sniper rifles, as it diversifies and expands its product range to stay a step ahead of the competition. The company, exhibiting at the Land Forces Africa conference outside Pretoria earlier this week, displayed some of its new hardware to delegates.
Milkor is famous for its six-shot 40 mm multiple grenade launcher, which is in use with the South African National Defence Force (SANDF) and which has been widely copied. The latest evolution of their multiple grenade launcher (MGL) is the Super Six, which features a new recoil reduction system, redesigned stock and new optics. Andre van Dyk, Director: Manufacturing and Research at Milkor said the Super Six MRGL can fire special long range ammunition out to a distance of 800 to 1 200 metres.
One of Milkor’s newer products is an under barrel 40 mm grenade launcher (UBGL) for assault rifles, although the weapon can also be fired by itself when a butt stock is added. It has been on the market for approximately a year and has been evaluated by the SANDF. The launcher features a patented trigger system that uses a button, rather than a trigger, to fire the grenade. This is so that a soldier does not get confused between his rifle trigger and the grenade launcher trigger – something which could have fatal results.
For more than 30 years Milkor has specialised in manufacturing grenade launchers, but for the first time is working on sniper weapons. Van Dyk told defenceWeb that he hoped Milkor would be able to start marketing the new range in six months’ time, offering the rifles in .30 to .338 calibres. These would be offered as complementary weapons to the company’s grenade launchers.
Another new item being promoted by Milkor is its belt fed grenade launcher, aimed at use aboard patrol vehicles and boats. Van Dyk said the belt fed launcher was ideal for border patrol duties and combating rhino poaching. He said Milkor was approached for help by Wagtail Military and game farmers, resulting in the development of the launcher, which was recently tested successfully aboard a gyrocopter.
Milkor does not expect huge demand for the belt-fed launcher aimed at use on aircraft, but van Dyk said the product “opens up possibilities”. Milkor has sold in excess of 70 000 multiple grenade launchers in some 50 countries around the world. Van Dyk told defenceWeb that Milkor was doing well with a nice full order book, although competition is stiff. “We do outperform the competition,” he said, adding that the only way to keep abreast of them was with new developments.