PALM BEACH, Idaho, Aug. 5 (UPI) -- A new and lighter rocket-propelled grenade system has been announced by bankrupt Airtronic USA Inc. and will be available for delivery next year.
The second-generation system is called the MK 777 and is undergoing final testing. Airtronic said it has the exact same form of the RPG-7 but is made from a steel liner with a carbon composite wrap, reducing the weapon's weight by half -- to 7.77 pounds. It is compatible with all existing RPG-7 rounds and features a Picatinny rail system for mounting upgraded optics.
"An RPG-7 from Europe or Asia weighs about 9 or 10 pounds more than the MK 777," said Merriellyn Kett, Airtronic's president and chief executive officer. "At trade shows, soldiers often tell me that I could never imagine the difference 10 pounds makes when they have to cover 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) on foot fast over difficult terrain."
The announcement was made jointly with Global Digital Solutions Inc., a small arms manufacturing company that signed a merger agreement with Airtronic last year. The two are currently working together to file an amended plan of reorganization that, if confirmed, will allow Airtronic to emerge from chapter 11 bankruptcy.