In charting a path for the future, Rheinmetall has focused on the range limitations of existing infantry weapons. Constantin Schafmayer, area sales manager of Rheinmetall’s infantry business division, commented:
‘Our analysis of mission experiences has shown that the most probable threat range of RPGs [rocket-propelled grenades] is between 600 and 1,000 metres. There is an important difference between the range of protection and the range of identification’
Schafmayer continued saying:
‘The ability of an infantry squad is limited. In an infantry squad you only have the sniper weapons. We identified an operating range problem.’
Rheinmetall also wants to increase the effective detection range of night vision optics, a challenge they plan to address with longer rage illuminating rounds.
To deal with the perceived squad level range limitations, designers at Rheinmetall will introduce the Cerborous – a grenade launcher capable of firing medium and low velocity ammunition. According to Mr. Schafmayer, the Cerborous uses recoil mitigation technologies that permit the use of low velocity munitions.
Rheinmetall also has Hydra, which is a 40mm MV (medium velocity) hand-held launcher capable of using different magazine types, on the drawing boards. Hydra includes an advanced fire control unit.
Although employing an RPG 7 beyond 300 meters with accuracy diminishes exponentially with range we are all for extending the squad effective range.