Today’s SOFREP Pic of the Day takes us down under for a look at soldiers of the 1st Battalion of the Royal Australian Regiment firing a Mk 47 grenade launcher at their Townsville Field Training Area in Queensland.

If you were wondering about the screen mounted on the weapon, that’s a Lightweight Video Sight II (LVSII). It’s an all-in-one thermal optic, laser range finder, and ballistic computer. High-speed stuff.

The Mk 47 Grenade Launcher: Redefining Firepower and Precision

The Mk 47 Grenade Launcher, also known as the Striker 40, is a revolutionary weapon system that has significantly enhanced the capabilities of modern military forces, particularly those in special operations. Developed by General Dynamics in the early 2000s, the Mk 47 stands out for its combination of advanced technology, precision, and firepower.

Technological Advancements

Introduced to replace the aging Mk 19 grenade launcher, the Mk 47 incorporates several cutting-edge features that set it apart from its predecessor. One of the most notable advancements is its integrated fire control system (FCS), which includes a laser rangefinder, ballistic computer, and the AN/PVG-1 Lightweight Video Sight (LVS). This system allows operators to accurately engage targets at distances up to 1,700 meters, day or night, and in various environmental conditions.

The Mk 47 can fire a variety of 40mm ammunition types, including programmable airburst munitions. These rounds can be set to detonate in the air above or near the target, making the Mk 47 particularly effective against enemies taking cover behind obstacles.

Enhanced Firepower and Versatility

Weighing 39.6 pounds for the weapon alone and up to 90 pounds with a tripod and FCS, the Mk 47 is significantly lighter than the Mk 19, which weighs 77 pounds. This reduction in weight, combined with its compact size of 37 inches in length, makes the Mk 47 more maneuverable without sacrificing firepower.

The Mk 47 has a cyclic rate of fire between 250 to 300 rounds per minute and an effective firing rate of about 60 rounds per minute, providing substantial suppressive fire capabilities. Its ability to fire both high-explosive and high-explosive dual-purpose (HEDP) rounds adds to its versatility in various combat scenarios.

Operational Impact

Since its deployment, the Mk 47 has seen extensive use in combat operations by U.S. special operations forces (SOF). It has been employed in conflicts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Syria, where its precision and firepower have proven invaluable. The weapon’s advanced targeting systems not only increase hit probability but also reduce collateral damage, which is crucial in urban warfare environments.

Mk 47 SF Afghanistan
This Polaris ATV has been converted into a mobile fire support platform by Special Forces soldiers in Afghanistan. US DoD photo by SGT Teddy Wade.

Global Adoption

Beyond the U.S. military, the Mk 47 has also been adopted by other countries. The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Australian Defense Force are among the international operators of this advanced grenade launcher, further demonstrating its effectiveness and reliability on the battlefield​.

Conclusion

The Mk 47 Grenade Launcher represents a significant leap forward in military technology, combining precision, firepower, and versatility in a single platform. Its advanced fire control system, lighter weight, and ability to fire programmable munitions make it a formidable tool for modern military forces, ensuring its continued relevance and effectiveness in future conflicts.

For more detailed insights and updates on military technology, check out our hundreds of other weapons-related articles on SOFREP.

Disclaimer: SOFREP utilizes AI for image generation and article research. Occasionally, it’s like handing a chimpanzee the keys to your liquor cabinet. It’s not always perfect and if a mistake is made, we own up to it full stop. In a world where information comes at us in tidal waves, it is an important tool that helps us sift through the brass for live rounds.