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Tecmash AGS-40 (Balkan)

Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) [ 2022 ]

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

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 04/01/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

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.


Service Year

Russia national flag graphic


Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL)

Tecmash Research and Production Association (TRPA) / TsKID SOO / GNPP Pribor - Russia
(View other Arms-Related Manufacturers)
National flag of Russia Russia
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.
Special Forces
Qualities of this weapon have shown its value to Special Forces elements requiring a versatile, reliable solution for the rigors of special assignments.
Special Purpose
Special purpose weapon for a specially defined battlefield role.

Despite its size / weight, the product can be transported by foot infantry.
Inherent ability to provide suppression capabilities against target / target area.
Internal action allows release of single round per trigger pull, actuating a semi-automatic loading mechanism for successive shots.
Internal action allows release of multiple rounds with a trigger pull in quick succession.
An automatic, or pseudo-automatic, function is built into the system, allowing for repeat firing to be achieved.
Versatility is such that it can be mounted to vehicles as an anti-infantry / area suppression solution.
Versatility is such that it can be mounted to aircraft as an anti-infantry / area suppression solution.
Supports mounting of optics (scopes) to aid in accuracy for ranged fire.
Supports 'iron sights' allowing for inherent accuracy in ranged fire.
Allows for the ability to arc its fire onto enemy positions / targets.
Can be mounted to a tripod assembly, typically of heavy-duty construction for added accuracy in ranged fire.
Can be mounted atop a trainable pintle assembly for additional support.
Design allows for user adjustability of certain components for customization.
Detonation of this entry is reliant on impact at target / target area; typical quality seen in direct-fire weapons (rocket / missile launchers).
Entry has an inherent psychological effect on participants of the battlefield due to potential damage / casualties.

Empty Wgt
70.55 lb
32.00 kg

Iron Sights; Optional Optics.


Gas-Operated; Open Bolt System.

Open Bolt
System utilizes internal mechanism where bolt and associated working components are set to the rear of the receiver with no cartridge chambered; trigger actuation moves bolt forward, chambers cartridge, and fires bullet in single action - ultimately resetting during the complete cycle by way of the generated energy.
Gas-operated system is featured, typically involving a gas cylinder and rear-driven piston directing energy to the bolt component.
Impact Detonation
Design relies on impact on target for detonation.
(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)


40mm Caseless (7P39)

Rounds / Feed

40-round disintegrating belts.
Cartridge relative size chart
*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.
Max Eff.Range
8,200 ft
(2,499 m | 2,733 yd)

AGS-40 - Base Series Designation.

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