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Heckler & Koch Defense Wins Multi-year Contract for New U.S. Army Grenade Launcher

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Sterling, Virginia — Heckler & Koch Defense Inc. was awarded a competitive contract to produce the new add-on grenade launcher for the U.S. Army. The U.S. XM320 40x46mm Grenade Launcher Module may replace the inventory of M203 grenade launchers currently in use by the Army, including those launchers used by Army units in Iraq and Afghanistan. This award marks the completion of a full and open competition among several companies to provide a commercial off-the-shelf (COTS) shoulder-fired grenade launcher that met or surpassed all user-developed requirements. The total potential value of this contract is $29 million with a potential purchase of more than 11,000 launchers, day/night sights, and assorted items (tools, parts, and accessories) over the life of the contract.

The XM320 Grenade Launcher Module was selected after months of rigorous bid sample testing, including a user evaluation at the Army’s Aberdeen Test Center in Aberdeen, Maryland. The XM320 is a multi-functional single-shot launcher that can be attached to a wide range of current issue U.S. weapons including the M16A2 and M16A4 rifles, and M4, M4A1 and M4 MWS carbines.

The open architecture of the XM320 will enable soldiers to easily attach the launcher, in seconds and without tools, to current and newly emerging weapon platforms ranging from compact carbines to light machine guns. The XM320 can also be used as a stand-alone weapon when the add-on, multi-position sliding buttstock is added. The XM320 GLM is unique in that it uses a side-opening barrel that permits the use of all current 40x46mm ammunition as well as many longer cartridges that, due to their overall length, could not be fired from the M203 grenade launcher. The use of a double-action trigger system allows the XM320 to be safely loaded and unloaded while the launcher remains in an uncocked condition. The double-action trigger system is controlled by the use of an ambidextrous manual rotary safety lever and also permits multiple primer strikes without the need to open the breech.

The sights for the XM320 are attached directly to the grenade launcher’s receiver ensuring the zero (aiming/impact point) of the weapon is retained when it is removed and later reinstalled on another weapon or when its used in the stand-alone mode. The building block design approach of the XM320 allows for a choice of three distinct sighting systems. A ranging day/night sight produced by Insight Technology Inc. of Londonderry New Hampshire provides a high probability of 24-hour first round target engagements within 5 meters out to 350 meters. A mechanical ladder sight can also be used in combination on the XM320 launcher.

Lighter in weight than the U.S. M203 grenade launcher, the XM320 is a combat-proven design produced by Heckler & Koch based on lessons learned from producing more than 30,000 similar launchers that have been in service since 2000 with the military forces of Britain, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, and Portugal.

During U.S. Army testing the robust HK Grenade Launcher Module received superior marks for accuracy, reliability, and modularity. The XM320 Grenade Launcher Module provides unmatched performance and combat capability for the U.S warfighter—permitting the destruction of point targets and the suppression of area targets under both day and night conditions. Current plans call for the first Army deliveries to begin in early 2006.

About Heckler & Koch

Heckler & Koch is the world’s premier small arms systems company and a major supplier to global military, law enforcement agencies, and civilian shooters. An innovative leader in design and manufacturing, Heckler & Koch provides technologically advanced firearms, logistical support, training, and specialized services with the highest standards of innovation and reliability to its customer base. Heckler & Koch’s well-known range of products include the USP series pistols, MP5 submachine gun, the MP7 Personal Defense Weapon, the G36 weapon system, and the HK416 enhanced carbine.

For further information, please contact:
HK-USA Public Relations
Tel: 1-703-450-1900 extension 226 in the USA
Email: pr@heckler-koch-us.com
American Website: www.hk-usa.com
Global Website: www.heckler-koch.com

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