Milkor growing grenade launcher customer base
Milkor has sold 64 000 grenade launcher systems to 67 countries around the world, and is continuing to grow its customer base while pursuing new developments, including an automatic grenade launcher.
Armand Bodenstein, Senior Marketing Manager for Milkor, told defenceWeb that the company’s global grenade launcher footprint “is still growing at a healthy rate” and as a result the company has increased full capacity to produce up to 450 grenade launchers a month compared to 225 per month previously.
One of its important recent orders came from the South African Army, which ordered 370 of its six-shot SuperSix weapons, compatible with both 40×46 mm low velocity and 40×51 mm medium velocity rounds. Trijicon optical sights and Newcon Optik laser rangefinders as well as thousands of rounds of different ammunition types are part of the contract. Bodenstein said Milkor is well on track to complete deliveries by March 2019, and may even complete the order ahead of schedule.
“There are a few orders in the pipeline apart from the SANDF,” Bodenstein said, with a positive order book. Latin America, Europe, Africa, Middle East and Asia are the regions from which most interest is coming.
Not content to rest on its laurels, Milkor’s weapons team is continually improving the grenade launcher range, looking at things like getting better range with different ammunition, improving accuracy and using different materials. For instance, on the Stopper Convertible, the weapons team is busy improving it in terms of increasing the accuracy, range and durability as well as the ability to fire medium velocity ammunition.Milkor is currently exploring the feasibility in the market for an automatic grenade launcher (AGL) as they have found that there is an opportunity in the market for such a system.
The Milkor range includes the flagship SuperSix (which can fire low and medium velocity ammunition), the Less Lethal 37/38/40 mm multi-shot launcher, Under Barrel Grenade Launcher, and 37/38 and 40 mm Stopper Convertible single shot launchers. The 40 mm Multiple Grenade Launcher comes in Mk 1L (with a longer chamber for different ammunition types) and the more compact Mk 1S firing 40×105 mm low velocity ammunition.
Bodenstein emphasised that Milkor is also producing unmanned aerial vehicles, an armoured vehicle and a high-speed interceptor vessel in addition to grenade launchers, and aims to further enhance its offerings. “Milkor’s vision is to be a global role-player in the defence industry, specialising in the supply of various defence related equipment and services,” Bodenstein said.
Other developments include designing an 8×8 armoured combat vehicle, grenade launcher mounts for vehicles and arming some of its unmanned aerial vehicles.