Africa Aerospace & Defense 2014

Take a soft shot [AAD141]

17 September 2014

Rippel Effect (Hangar 4, Stand B5) has a well-established reputation abroad for its innovative handheld XRGL-40 extended range grenade launcher. Lately this South African company qualified it to fire low- and mediumvelocity and less-lethal rounds from the same weapon without any mechanical modifications.

It has just announced its Rippel Effect LL37/ 38mm and 40mm less-lethal launcher in response to client requirements.

“Close consultation with expert international SWAT officers and with manufacturers of less- lethal ammunition led us to this solution,” said Franz Visser, Rippel project manager for less-lethal launchers. “This launcher fully winds the six-shot cylinder with a pull of the cocking lever, like an assault rifle. The cylinder cannot be overwound – a problem identified with some multishot less-lethal launchers.” More importantly, according to Visser, the Rippel less-lethal launcher can forward and reverse select grenades without opening the launcher by means of a thumb switch for the trigger hand.

“SWAT officers want to skip a round or two with the aim of firing a different type of grenade, but need the ability to quickly revert to the skipped ones,” Visser said.

The less-lethal launcher has a fail-safe feature to prevent it being used with lethal grenades. In the event of a lethal round being fired, the launcher is immediately disabled.

Converting from 37/38mm to 40mm involves changing only the barrel and cylinder. The launcher was designed for ambidextrous operation.

By using lighter yet strong materials for some parts, Rippel managed to reduce its weight to 3.5kg.

“The two reputable international manufacturers of less-lethal rounds that we consulted to find the optimum solution both endorse our launcher, as is evidenced by their wish to have distribution rights,” Visser said.

Rippel opted for the 37/38mm version, alongside the 40mm, because both types of ammunition are widely used internationally. The former is also not a controlled item in the US – a prime target market. The launcher will make its international debut in January 2015 at the Shot Show in Las Vegas.

(330 words)