The United States Marine Corps (USMC) has contracted with Rheinmetall to produce and deliver MK281 MOD3 40mm practice ammunition.
The ammunition, specifically the 40mm x 53 MK281 MOD3 High Velocity Practice Day/Night Marking Cartridge, will be produced in Camden, Arkansas and shipped from American Rheinmetall Munitions (ARM), a Rheinmetall subsidiary based in Stafford, Virginia. Total order volume amounts to US$59 million (€51 million). Now booked, the initial order volume is worth US$25 million (€21.7 million). Production will commence no later than the third quarter of 2019; annual delivery volume is expected to be as high as 700,000 cartridges.
Rheinmetall‘s MK281 is a non-dud producing, non-toxic training cartridge fired from a MK19 machinegun. The cartridges use unique target marking technologies that enable both day and night training. The MK281 design reduces customer costs by eliminating unexploded ordnance and range fires. Furthermore, it permits users to practice fire-and-manoeuvre operations in a safe, dud-free environment.
ARM has been producing and supplying first-class, high-performance practice and service ammunition for American military and law enforcement customers for over a decade.
Mk 19 grenade launcher
The Mk 19 grenade launcher (pronounced Mark 19) is an American 40 mm belt-fed automatic grenade launcher that was first developed during the Vietnam War.
The Mk 19 is a belt-fed, blowback-operated, air-cooled, crew-served, fully automatic weapon that is designed not to cook off. It fires 40 mm grenades at a cyclic rate of 325 to 375 rounds per minute, giving a practical rate of fire of 60 rounds per minute (rapid) and 40 rounds per minute (sustained). The weapon operates on the blowback principle, which uses the chamber pressure from each fired round to load and re-cock the weapon.
The Mk 19 can launch its grenade at a maximum distance of 2,212 meters (2,419 yd), though its effective range to a point target is about 1,500 meters (1,600 yd), since the large rear leaf sight is only graduated as far.