On operations abroad, an enemy behind cover poses a real threat. Until now infantry had hardly any effective weapons against this threat. Therefore, a new weapon, which already yielded promising results, is now being procured within the scope of urgent operational requirements.
A firing campaign at Daaden military training area has been conducted as part of the integrated compliance demonstration activities from 12 to 14 December 2011. The activities mainly focused on a weapon/munition newly fielded in the Bundeswehr referred to as “Recoilless Grenade Weapon 90 mm – Anti Structure” (RGW 90-AS).
The weapons currently held by forces employed in an infantry role in Afghanistan are insufficient in various scenarios to meet present operational demands. Dismounted combat – particularly against enemies beneath camouflage and behind cover – is affected by a capability gap regarding effectiveness and range.
In order to quickly close this capability gap the procurement of the RGW 90-AS was initiated within the scope of urgent operational requirements. It took less than three months for BWB to implement the procurement order received and to conduct the operational test. In order to save further time, the integrated compliance demonstration activities were taken as an opportunity to provide instruction and training to the 28th and 29th ISAF contingent. The first cartridges are expected to be available to the operational forces by April 2012.
The RGW 90-AS is a low-recoil, shoulder-launched weapon to be used for the engagement of structural targets. It has a tandem warhead and it can be fired in two different modes of operation: the mousehole mode and the blast mode.
In the mousehole mode the preload capacity breaks a hole into the structure. The load following the round (with a short firing control delay) detonates within the hole in the wall, thus creating a larger hole. Soldiers are hence enabled to enter the building under fire.
In the blast mode the follow-up firing load (with a long firing control delay) penetrates into the building so that the building structure is being destroyed from inside the building. Other munitions introduced so far were insufficient to achieve the necessary extent of the above target effects.