All modern, first-rate armies of the world field some form of Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL). These are belt-fed weapons suitable for fire suppression efforts and can be fitted to defensive positions (firing from a heavy-duty tripod assembly) or mounted on vehicles and watercraft (via pintle mount). For the Republic of Korea Army (South Korea), the Daewoo Precision Industries "K4" fulfills this battlefield role. It entered service in 1993 and has seen combat in the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and has also seen exposure in the Libyan Civil War.
Design work on the K4 spanned from 1985 to 1991 and was handled by the Agency for Defense Development. The weapon is a product of a decisive move by South Korean armed forces to reduce reliance on foreign military products. As such a whole line "K" weapons have since emerged and stocks the inventory of the modern South Korean Army. Many of the K-weapons are today (2017) produced under the S&T Motiv brand label.
In many ways, the South Korean K4 mimics the form and function of the well-established American-originated Saco Mk 19 AGL still in widespread use around the globe. Like the Mk 19, the K4 relies on the proven 40x53mm grenade which offers good concussion and explosive effects against target areas. The internal firing action is of basic blowback and feeding is by way a belt pulled from a hard case - projectiles enter the receiver from the left side and spent cases are ejected to the right. A rate-of-fire nearing 350 rounds-per-minute can be achieved and effective engagement ranges are out to 1,500 meters while areas out to 2,200 meters can be affected though with reduced accuracy. Sighting is through a flip-up rear aperture.
The single-shot, under-barrel launcher form of the K4 is the "K201" detailed elsewhere on this site. This more compact weapon provides a grenadier capability to the standard infantryman and broadens his tactical value in the field.
Beyond South Korea, the K4 has been purchased by Libya (becoming the product's first export customer in 2009) and Mexico (becoming an operator in 2011).
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.
1,072 mm 42.20 in
412 mm 16.22 in
76.06 lb 34.50 kg
Gas pressure from the rearward movement of the ignited cartridge case provides the needed bolt movement, ejecting the spent case and stripping a fresh case from the magazine.
(Material presented above is for historical and entertainment value and should not be construed as usable for hardware restoration, maintenance, or general operation - always consult official manufacturer sources for such information)
Rounds / Feed
*May not represent an exhuastive list; calibers are model-specific dependent, always consult official manufacturer sources. **Graphics not to actual size; not all cartridges may be represented visually; graphics intended for general reference only.
4,920 ft (1,500 m | 1,640 yd)
790 ft/sec (241 m/sec)
K4 - Base Series Designation
Ribbon graphics not necessarily indicative of actual historical campaign ribbons. Ribbons are clickable to their respective campaigns / operations.
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