Every major frontline army showcases some form of Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) and for many decades, the Russian-Soviet Army relied on the trusted-and-true AGL-17 "Plamya" series of launchers in 30mm caliber. While modernized over the years (including introduction of a lightweight replacement in 1995 - the 30mm AGS-30 by KBP), the system has long been a product of its era so a new weapon was sought after - resulting in the Tekhmesh (Rostec) 40mm 6G27 "Balkan" AGL. The Balkan debuted in late 2016.
The new grenade launcher, holding an external similarity to the preceding Soviet-era Plamya, is chambered for the 40mm 7P39 grenade projectile (caseless) which offers greater firepower than earlier 30mm type grenades (more in line with the 40mm Western grenade projectile). Range of the system is out to 2,500 meters while operating / loaded weight is held in check thanks to wider use of polymers in the weapon's construction. Relatively compact dimensions allow the system to be transported by infantry on-the-march. A standard tripod is fitted for stabilized fire and optics are supported through both standard daytime and night time optics. The launcher is fed by a 20-round hard drum magazine fitted to the right side of the receiver. Muzzle velocity is 780 feet-per-second while rate-of-fire reaches 400 rounds-per-minute.
The weapon system will be featured in both ground-based infantry support roles as well as a vehicle-mounted weapon on tracked, wheeled, and watercraft designs.
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