The AGS-30 is the modern Russian military 30mm automatic grenade launcher for fire support, superseding the Cold War-era AGS-17 "Plamya" ("Flame"). While the AGS-17 was an effective grenade projector for its time, it was a product of the period with origins in the 1970s and designed with the open-field warfare influenced by World War 2. However, by the 1990s, warfare had evolved to the contained urban conflicts seen today and the Soviet Union as a political and military power was no more. This gave rise to development of a new, indigenous modernized Russian automatic grenade projector which became the "AGS-30". Beyond its adoption by the Russian Army, the type has seen issuance in the militaries of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh and India. India produces the weapon under license at its Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli facility.
The AGS-30 continues use of the Soviet-era 30x29mm grenade as well as reliance on a blowback system of operation but features a lighter (16kg unloaded), more compact design. It compares favorably to the larger-caliber (40mm) American Mk 19 series. The weapon is sighted through the standard PAG-17 adjustable sighting device. Feeding is through a 29-grenade belt housed in a hardened cassette drum fitted to the right side of the receiver. The weapon can reach out to effective ranges of 2,300 meters through a 400 round-per-minute, rate-of-fire. Spent casings are ejected through a large port along the left of the receiver. The barrel is rifled for accuracy while actuation of the weapon is through spade grips fitted on the weapon's mounting. The weapon can be fired from its standard-issue tripod mounting or affixed to a vehicle as needed. The operator can engage targets through direct or in-direct fire as the situation calls. Its lightweight design also makes relocation of the weapon by a single crew possible.
Design of the AGS-30 is attributed to the KBP Instrument Design Bureau which also handles its production. Over 500 of the weapon type have been produced to date (2013). The AGS-30 officially entered service in 1995 and has already seen field action with Russian forces through the Second Chechen War (1999-2000) and the South Ossetia War (2008).