Thales selects Steyr SL40 grenade launcher for ADF’s EF88 rifle

22 January 2014 (Last Updated January 22nd, 2014 18:30)

Steyr Mannlicher's SL40 grenade launcher has been selected by Thales Australia as preferred choice for its new EF88 assault rifle currently under development for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Steyr Mannlicher's SL40 grenade launcher has been selected by Thales Australia as preferred choice for its new EF88 assault rifle currently under development for the Australian Defence Force (ADF).

Selected after an extensive testing process, the SL40 is a lightweight, side-opening grenade launcher with a double action trigger, and is a derivative of the Steyr ML40AUS grenade launcher assembly (GLA), which was earlier tested for the EF88 rifle.

Designed to seamlessly integrate with all EF88 variants, the launcher can be fitted in seconds by soldiers in the field without any specialist tools, and has lever operated safety catch, 180mm barrel, and the same attachment and firing mechanism and control layout of the GL40 launcher.

"The primary area of focus is the supply of small arms surveillance and target acquisition system ancillaries for fitment to the EF88 weapon system."

The EF88 rifle is being developed by Thales under Australia's LAND 125 programme, a multi-phase combat ensemble project aimed at delivering successive enhancements to the soldier combat system, along with an F90 export range.

The company has sought expressions of interest (EOI) from foreign companies for the supply of small arms accessories for the Australian Department of Defence's ongoing Land 125 Ph3C contract, in December 2013.

The primary area of focus is the supply of small arms surveillance and target acquisition system ancillaries for fitment to the EF88 weapon system.

Specifically, the ancillary suite will include several compact, lightweight, simple and robust elements that can be readily fitted using the Standardization Agreement (STANAG) 4694 rail system, and will provide surveillance, target acquisition and point engagement by day and night.

The small arms accessories product analysis and testing is scheduled to begin in the next few months.

Defence Technology