Sept. 24 (UPI) -- American Ordnance has received a $92.3 million contract modification for M918E1 40mm high velocity target practice grenade.
M918E1 40mm high velocity grenades are designed specifically for the Mk19 automatic grenade launcher. The Mk19 is designed for being mounted on tripods or on turrets of vehicles like the HMMWV, Joint LIght Tactical Vehicles and other systems.
"The new training rounds will allow Soldiers to get a better training capability than they have right now," said Christopher Seacord, Product Director -- Medium Caliber Ammunition for the U.S. Army's Program Executive Office Ammunition, said in a press release. "It's not that the existing training rounds don't do what they need to do--they meet training requirements. However, the Soldiers want to conduct fire and maneuvers during training, as opposed to training in a static position."
Training rounds use paint charges to mark where the rounds fall, allowing soldiers to observe and adjust fire.
The Mk19 has a maximum rate of fire of up to 40 rounds per minute using belted grenade ammunition and an effective range of over 1,500 yards.
It can also use standard low-velocity grenades like those used on the rifle-mounted M204 grenade launcher in belted form.
Typically, 40mm grenades are used in an anti-personnel role, but versions such as the High Explosive Dual Purpose can be used for targeting vehicles with light armor.
The Mk19 has been in service since 1968 and has seen action in U.S. wars ranging from Vietnam to Afghanistan. It has been widely exported and served in conflicts across the world.
Work will be performed in Middletown, Iowa, Bonaparte,Iowa, Mountainside, N.J., Lynchburg, Va., and other locations throughout the continental United States, with an estimated completion date of November 2020.
Army fiscal 2017 and 2018 procurement funds in the amount of $92.3 were obligated at the time of the award, the Department of Defense announced on Friday.