Posted July. 29, 2008 03:18,
The next generation combined rifle, which fires high-explosive grenades that go up 3 to 4 meters above the target, will be deployed in field operations beginning next year.
Rifles that are capable of attacking hidden enemies have been developed in the United States, Singapore and Sweden. But Korea will become the first country to put this kind of advanced rifle to use in warfare.
The Agency for Defense Development under the Defense Ministry announced Monday that the new rifles combat capabilities have passed tests on 47 criteria, including effective rifle ranges and the capacity of explosives, during an eight-month testing period that started July 2007. The development of the new rifle by the ADD began in 2000 and finished in October 2006.
The next generation rifle, which cost 18.5 billion won, consists of a 5.56 millimeter rifle and a 20 millimeter explosive grenade launcher and a laser distance meter. With a built-in thermal imaging system, it is also capable of precisely targeting enemies at night.
When aiming at a target with a laser distance meter, the rifle automatically calculates the distance and the sight of a gun, which are put into the grenade. With a single trigger, then, the grenade explodes 3 to 4 meters above the target, according to the nations weapons developer.
When the rifle is used in urban combats, the grenade will penetrate into a building and explode inside it. A large number of splinters of a shell, which are created when the grenade blows up either in the air or inside a building, will kill enemies, said Kim In-woo, a senior researcher of the Agency for Defense Development in charge of weapon`s development.
The next generation rifle is indigenous weaponry developed by a joint team lead by the Agency for Defense Development. The joint team includes the nations leading munitions companies such as S&T Daewoo, EOSYSTEM, Poongsan, and Hanwha. When the rifle is deployed next year, Korea will go down in history as the first nation in the world to operate precision airborne explosives, and lead the market in this field, said Kim.