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Tecmash AGS-40 (Balkan)

Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL)

Russia | 2022

"The AGS-40 is an all-modern Automatic Grenade Launcher solution becoming available to Russian military forces today."

Performance specifications presented assume optimal operating conditions for the Tecmash AGS-40 (Balkan). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
8,200 ft
2,499.4 m | 2,733.3 yds
The physical qualities of the Tecmash AGS-40 (Balkan). Information presented is strictly for general reference and should not be misconstrued as useful for hardware restoration or operation.
70.55 lb
32.00 kg
Gas-Operated; Open Bolt System.
40mm Caseless (7P39)
40-round disintegrating belts.
Iron Sights; Optional Optics.
Notable series variants as part of the Tecmash AGS-40 (Balkan) Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) family line.
AGS-40 - Base Series Designation.
Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/01/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site; No A.I. was used in the generation of this content.

The grenade launcher has been a fixture of the modern battlefield for some time and has proven itself a terrifying suppression and psychological weapon. It finds itself in the active inventories of many armies today and is the perfect counter to stubborn, dug-in enemy personnel. Modern-day systems are capable of select-fire, indirect fire, and can be coupled with assault rifles, fired from portable tripods, vehicle mounts, and from moving aircraft - such is their versatility.

During the Cold War period (1947-1991), the Soviet Army and its allied forces relied on the trusted AGS-17 series belt-fed Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) for this sort of in-direct suppression fire. Introduced in 1970, this weapon went on to see combat service from the Soviet-Afghan War (1979-1989) to the more modern engagements of the Nagomo-Karabakh War (2020). After the fall of the Soviet Empire, the series was directly succeeded by the modern AGS-30 in 1995 and this product has also gone on to build its own extensive resume, seeing service in wars around the globe beginning with the 2nd Chechen War. Against this backdrop, the Russian Army has now moved to introduce an even more modern equivalent to these storied solutions - the AGS-40 "Balkan".

The AGS-40 has design roots in the Cold War during the 1980s, the work finally culminating in 2017 under TsKIB SOO. The lengthy development cycle is attributed to the tumultuous period following the collapse of the Soviet Union and the disarray and economic slump that followed hampered the Russian arms industry. Before long, manufacture of the weapon system began in earnest under the Tecmash Research and Production Association (TRPA) label and this initiative has been ongoing since 2017.

The complete weapon system weighs a hefty 71lb when coupled to its heavy-duty tripod assembly and sans its ammunition load. This value balloons to over 100lb when the ammunition cassette is added.

Available projectile types consist of 40mm "caseless" cartridges - these specially-designed projectiles negating the need for spent shell casings by design - combining the primer, propellant, and projectile into a single unit that is completely used up in the action. The AGS-40 fires three such types: the 7P39 High-Explosive, FRAGmentation (HE-FRAG) round, the 7P39P training round, and the 7P39U training round. The grenades are housed in a hardened circular cassette affixed to the right side of the weapon's frame. The disintegrating belt (arriving in 40-count strips) is looped over the frame and inserted into the firing chamber from the left.

Of note is that the use of 40mm caliber is a decided departure from the long-standing reliance on 30mm grenade types common to Soviet-Russian launchers and puts this weapon more in line with offerings seen in the West.

The internal action involves a gas-operated piston with open-bolt component, allowing for automatic fire (5- and 10-round bursts as well as full-auto) to be achieved. Control of the weapon is through spade-type grip handles at the rear of the frame while an optional cushioned butt-plate / seat is noted, adding additional recoil-defeating value by utilizing the operator's own body weight in the firing action - this component locks into the rear two legs of the tripod (the tripod assembly itself provides some inherent recoil-dampening effects). While iron sights are supported, these are primarily retained for backup purposes as optics (typically PAG-17 2.7x magnification) aid in more precise firing down-range. The AGS-40 is capable of reaching target areas out to 2,500 meters and firing at a theoretical rate of 400 rounds-per-minute.

The AGS-40 began deliveries to the Russian armed forces in January 2022.

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Global customers who have evaluated and/or operated the Tecmash AGS-40 (Balkan). Nations are displayed by flag, each linked to their respective national small arms listing.

Contractor(s): Tecmash Research and Production Association (TRPA) / TsKID SOO / GNPP Pribor - Russia
National flag of Russia

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