TSAMTO, August 23. The command of the French Armed Forces announced the testing of a 40-mm automatic grenade launcher manufactured by Heckler und Koch with the use of air-detonating grenades to neutralize micro - and mini-unmanned aerial vehicles.
According to Jane's Defense Weekly, the grenade launcher was installed on the remotely controlled M151 "Protector" armament module of Kongsberg Defense & Aerospace AS (Kongsberg), placed on the VAB armored vehicle. The vehicle was also equipped with a radar mounted on a telescopic mast with other components that are already used as part of the Milad UAV counteraction system.
According to preliminary information, the tests were successful. The practical application of this configuration is planned to begin this fall.
The basic version of the BBM VAB, armed with a 12.7-mm M2 machine gun instead of an automatic grenade launcher, is used by the French Armed Forces in Mali.
As reported by TSAMTO, in December 2019, Kongsberg signed a contract with the Federal Agency for Armaments, Information Technologies and Maintenance (BAAINBw) for the supply of a UAV counteraction system based on the "Protector"DUMV. This complex includes a Hensoldt radar and a 40-mm automatic grenade launcher with air-detonation ammunition.
A similar project developed by Kongsberg was presented in early 2020 by the Spanish company Escribano Mechanical & Engineering. The basis of the system is the Guardian 2.0 remote-controlled weapon module developed by Escribano, equipped with a 40-mm Mk19 automatic grenade launcher with non-lethal ammunition from Nammo.