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Turkish Songar drone enhanced with RDS40 MGL six-barrel rotary grenade launcher.

| Defense News Army 2024

Asisguard and Repkon Savunma Sistemleri, two Turkish defense companies, have successfully collaborated to equip the Songar drone, an armed UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle), with a 40 mm rotary grenade launcher. This achievement marks a step in the field of remote weapon systems and promises to greatly enhance the capabilities of security forces.
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Songar, developed by Asisguard, underwent intensive integration efforts with Repkon's RDS40-MGL, a six-barrel rotary grenade launcher (Picture source: Asisguard)

SONGAR, developed by Asisguard, underwent intensive integration efforts with Repkon's RDS40-MGL, a six-barrel rotary grenade launcher. This integration was tested in field deployment, where the drone demonstrated precise and effective firing capabilities.

Barış Düzgün, CEO of Asisguard, emphasized his company's commitment to enhancing Songar's capabilities. "Following its deployment with security forces, we have dedicated ourselves to expanding its arsenal by integrating various types of ammunition and payloads," said Düzgün. He also mentioned the development of a two-axis gimbal for night operations, a direct response to user demands from the field.

On his part, Uğur Cem Gürpınar, Director of Business Development and Corporate Communication at Repkon, highlighted the innovation behind the RDS40-MGL grenade launcher. Known for being the lightest in its category, this grenade launcher is made of steel using the flowforming method, a technique that ensures increased accuracy due to internal rifling in the barrels.

Gürpınar also pointed out that the 40 mm automatic grenade launcher and the six-barrel rotary grenade launcher are expected to be visible on numerous air, land, and sea platforms, both domestically and internationally, throughout 2024.

The RDS40-MGL is a six-round 40 mm grenade launcher manufactured by Repkon Defence, a division of the Turkish company Repkon. According to the manufacturer, the grenade launcher is 1.5 kg lighter than similar models in its category, and its service life is also extended.

The distinctive feature of this grenade launcher is its capability to use reduced ballistics ammunition of 40×46 mm caliber, standard for infantry weapons, as well as 40×53 mm caliber medium ballistics grenades used in fixed grenade launchers.

The RDS40-MGL is equipped with multiple Picatinny rails for mounting optical sights, enabling more precise targeting, although it comes with a mechanical sight as standard.

This 5.4 kg grenade launcher can accurately fire up to 400 meters with 40×46 mm caliber ammunition and up to 800 meters with 40×53 mm caliber ammunition.

Both calibers are standard for NATO countries and have been distributed in the Ukrainian army since 2022. Among the grenade varieties are fragmentation and shaped charge ammunition. The latter can penetrate up to 70 mm of armor, depending on the model.

For reference, on July 23, 2023, a Turkish-made RDS40-MGL 40 mm multiple grenade launcher was spotted in service with the Ukrainian military. Up to that point, neither party had mentioned the transfer of these weapons by Turkey. Thus, it would not be surprising to see the Songar drone equipped with the RDS40-MGL grenade launcher deployed in Ukraine soon.

This innovation represents not only a major technological advancement for Turkey in the field of defense but also raises important questions about the use and regulation of autonomous weapons in future conflicts. As the world watches closely, the implications of these technological developments will continue to be a topic of intense debate in defense and international security circles.

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Turkish RDS40 Multiple Grenade Launcher (Picture source: Twitter account of War Noir)


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