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Rheinmetall SSW40 (Squad Support Weapon 40)

40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) [ 2023 ]

The SSW40 was unveiled by German concern Rheinmetall during Eurosatory 2022 as a squad-level fire support solution.

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 06/15/2022 | Content ©www.MilitaryFactory.com | The following text is exclusive to this site.

The SSW40 (Squad Support Weapon 40) is a new 40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL) unveiled by Rheinmetall of Germany during Eurosatory 2022. The company bills the weapon as the world's first 40mm-class automatic-action, magazine-fed, shoulder-fired grenade launcher all-in-one system. The design is intended to broaden the grenade-firing / fire support capabilities of modern infantry at the squad-level - suitable for unseating those stubborn foes behind embankments, under cover, or in buildings.

The launcher's design arrangement and function are very "rifle-like" as it employs the proven assault rifle configuration complete with shoulder stock, barrel assembly, and integrated pistol grip / trigger unit. Sighting devices allow for some accuracy-at-range as the weapon can reach out to targets / target areas as far away as 900 meters. The SSW49 is cleared to fire all 40mm grenade types - those currently found in the various Western inventories and those developments still to come - encompassing a broad range of projectile types including HE-FRAG (High-Explosive, FRAGmentation), Anti Tank (AT), door breaching, airburst, training rounds, general illumination and smoke, and sound / flash rounds based on mission need.

This versatility means the SSW40 can find operators at the law enforcement (special police) level as well.

The magazine feed utilizes a "quick change" feature which enhances the inserting of a fresh cassette / magazine into the frame. The frame further supports IR optics and laser aimers as well as the usual telescopic sighting devices found on common combat arms. Internally, the automatic action is aided by a self-regulating recoil system to keep barrel climb at a minimum and enhance precision between Direct Line of Sight (DLoS) and Non-Line of Sight (NLoS) actions.

Beyond its use against infantry, the SSW40 can be deployed against "soft-skinned" / light-armored vehicles with the appropriate projectile chambered.

The mobile battlefield of the future may very well require the facilities of the SSW40 where on-the-spot fire support will be needed to defeat embedded enemy infantry - particularly in urban fighting environments and scenarios. The advantage of the Rheinmetall approach is its assault rifle styling and handling, making it a portable and ideal tactical-level / infantry-level solution.

Development of the SSW40 is expected to conclude during 2023.©MilitaryFactory.com
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Service Year

Germany national flag graphic


40mm Automatic Grenade Launcher (AGL)

National flag of modern Germany Germany (possible)
(OPERATORS list includes past, present, and future operators when applicable)
Automatic Function
Features a mechanical function to automate the firing action.
Fire Support
Capable of suppressing enemy elements at range through direct or in-direct fire.
Anti-Armor / Anti-Tank / Anti-Material
Designed to engage and defeat armor / enemy tanks at range.
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.
Inherent ability to engage / defeat armored targets at range.
Supports 'iron sights' allowing for inherent accuracy in ranged fire.
Allows for the ability to arc its fire onto enemy positions / targets.
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.


Semi-Automatic Action

One shot per trigger pull; self-loading or auto-loading action aided by internal mechanism; trigger management (and initial cocking) typically required by the operator; subsequent shots are aided by the unlocked / moved bolt.
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)



Rounds / Feed

10-round detachable box magazine.
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.

SSW40 (Squad Support Weapon 40) - Base Series Designation.

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Images Gallery

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Image from official Rheinmetall marketing materials.


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