C4iSR: Air

Nammo pursues C-UAV ammunition development

20 November 2018

Conceptual art of the 40 mm counter-UAV round under development by Nammo. Source: Nammo

Ammunition manufacturer Nammo is looking to expand its range of 40 mm grenades to include non-lethal examples optimised for counter-unmanned aerial vehicle (C-UAV) applications in military peacetime operations or in crowded urban environments.

Company funded development is under way exploring the integration of non-lethal payloads into a 40 mm grenade, with one particular option being a 'net' that is deployed close to a UAV to neutralise it in flight. This is considered a potential option for military or civil customers that may not be able to use kinetic rounds or radio frequency (RF) jamming, especially in urban areas.

Gard Ødegårdsstuen, director of ammunition research and development at Nammo Raufoss, told Jane's that the company has leveraged technology from its 40×53 mm High-Explosive Dual-Purpose Airburst-Radio Frequency (HEDP-RF) round, which is programmable via a fire-control system and provides a fragmentation effect on target out to 500 m when fired from an automatic grenade launcher (AGL).

"What we want to do now is instead of using high explosives we would like to use a net or wiring system that releases with the spin force of the projectile," said Ødegårdsstuen. "We have different solutions because this ammunition is rotating around 200 revolutions a second, so we have a lot of force to throw out a net or wiring system."

The non-lethal version is still programmable, ensuring the payload is deployed at the correct moment, and a small opening charge "about the size of a firecracker" is required to release the net. The grenades retain the same range as standard rounds fired from AGL, enabling a significant range boost over existing net-based solutions on the market, according to Nammo.

This type of non-lethal payload could also be utilised in medium velocity 40×51mm ammunition, commonly found on soldier-fired grenade launchers.

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