The US Army has taken delivery of the first 85 of 650 MK19 40mm Grenade Machine Guns (GMGs) under a contract from the General Dynamics (GD) Armament and Technical Products.
The delivery is part of the $8.7m indefinite delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract awarded to the company in September 2011 for production of more than 650 MK19 grenade launchers.
The contract is a follow-on from a deal signed in September 2008, which brings the total contract value to date to more than $90m.
The 40mm MK19 GMG is an air-cooled, disintegrating metallic link-belt-fed, blowback operated, fully automatic weapon, designed to fire a variety of armour-piercing grenades against enemy personnel and lightly armoured vehicles.
Weighing 72.5lb, the automatic grenade launcher has a maximum effective range of 1,600m and can either be used by dismounted infantry soldier or can be mounted on the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV), M113s and selected M88A1 recovery vehicles.
The gun can fire 400 rounds per minute featuring six types of cartridges, which include M430I / M430A1 high-explosive dual-purpose grenades, M383 high-explosive grenade, M385I / M918 training practice, and M922/M922A1 dummy rounds.
Associated components of the gun include MK64 cradle mount, MOD 5, M3 tripod mount and the AN/TVS-5 night vision sight for night time operations.
The guns are widely used by the army for conducting retrograde, patrolling, rear area security, military operations on urban terrain (MOUT), and special operations worldwide and were also deployed in Southwest Asia during Operation Desert Storm.
MK19 production work is conducted at the company's facility in Saco, Maine, while programme management is performed with support from its Vermont based Technology Center in Saco, US.
Final deliveries under the contract are scheduled to complete in February 2013.
Image: MK19 40mm grenade machine gun mounted on an M3 tripod. Photo: Nemo5576.