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K11

Assault rifle with integrated grenade launcher

K11

The South Korean K11, inspired by the US XM29 OICW, was the first production weapon of its kind

 
 
Country of origin South Korea
Entered service 2010
Caliber 5.56 x 45 mm
Caliber (grenade) 20 mm
Weight (with sight and batteries but without magazines) 6.1 kg
Length 860 mm
Barrel length 405 mm
Barrel length (grenade launcher) 310 mm
Muzzle velocity ~ 800 m/s
Muzzle velocity (grenade launcher) ?
Cyclic rate of fire 650 - 950 rpm
Practical rate of fire 40 - 100 rpm
Practical rate of fire (grenade launcher) ?
Magazine capacity 30 rounds
Magazine capacity (grenade launcher) ~ 5 rounds
Sighting range ?
Range of effective fire 500 m
Range of effective fire (grenade) ~ 800 m

 

   The K11 is an unusual dual-barrel weapon with a distinctive appearance. It was developed in South Korea. The K11 was inspired by the US XM29 OICW, which was eventually cancelled. The South Koreans are known to reverse engineer US prototype weapons. The K11 integrates both 5.56 mm assault rifle and 20 mm grenade launcher into a single weapon. Furthermore it has a fire control system. The South Korean K11 was slightly more successful than its US counterpart. It was adopted by the South Korean army in 2010 and is currently used in small numbers. Overall it is more advanced than the American XM29 OICW. The K11 was the first production weapon of its kind. However this South Korean weapon reportedly remains problematic and unreliable.

   The K11 integrates a modified Daewoo K2 assault rifle, which is rather conventional in design. This weapon has a shorter barrel. It is a gas-operated weapon, chambered for a standard NATO 5.56x45 mm ammunition.

   The integrated grenade launcher has a bullpup layout. It is located over the rifle component. It is a single-shot, bolt-action weapon. Grenade launcher of the American XM29 OICW could load grenades automatically after each shot. However South Koreans eliminated this feature in order to save weight.

   This South Korean weapon fires specially designed "smart" grenades. The 20 mm programmable grenades, are electronically set to explode for airburst at predefined ranges. Theses are effective against area targets, such as hostile troops hidden behind cover, in the vegetation or in the trenches. The grenades can be also set to engage point targets, such as unarmored and lightly armored vehicles. A standard fragmentation grenade weights around 85 g and has a killing radius of around 7 meters.

   The assault rifle is fed from 30-round capacity magazines. These are standard magazines of the K1 and K2 assault rifles that are widely used by the South Korean military. This weapon is compatible with all standard NATO (M16-type) magazines.

   The grenade launcher is a magazine-fed weapon. However after each shot the shooter has to reload it manually. Its magazine is made of transparent plastic, so the shooter can easily see how many grenades are left in the magazine.

   This weapon fires both 5.56 mm and 20 mm ammunition with single trigger. A fire mode selector for the assault rifle and grenade launcher is located over the pistol grip and is conveniently operated by a thumb. It has positions for "semi-auto", "3-round burst", and "airburst".

   This weapon uses a large boxy electronic sight, which is used to aim both the assault rifle and grenade launcher. The sight has a built-in laser rangefinder, ballistic computer and grenade programming interface. It is used to pre-set electronic fuses of 20 mm grenades for airburst at predefined ranges. Such computerized fire control system allows the shooter to accurately target the grenades. Furthermore the sighting unit incorporates both day and night sights. The night sight has got an infrared sensor. Control buttons of the sight are located on the foregrip. The sight can be completely removed from the weapon.

   Range of effective fire is 500 meters with 5.56 mm ammunition. Maximum effective range of 20 mm grenades against stationary targets is around 800 m.

   Flash hider of this assault rifle can be used to snap or to shoot-through the barbed wire.

   Overall the K11 has little advantages over a standard South Korean K2 assault rifle, fitted with a detachable 40 mm underbarrel grenade launcher. Its small and light 20 mm grenades are too week. They contain large quantities of sensors and circuitry, so very little of their mass is in their bursting charges. Compared to 40 mm grenades, the 20 mm grenade has 1/4 of their explosive filler. Also the K11 is a heavy and bulky weapon. For an average soldier it is uncomfortable to carry it and to use it in a combat situation. Furthermore it is much more expensive to produce than a standard K2 assault rifle with a grenade launcher and a telescopic sight.

   China developed a similar weapon, which integrates both assault rifle and grenade launcher. It is called the ZH-05. China attempted to produce this advanced infantry weapon for its future soldier program. Though there is no reliable information whether the ZH-05 is in service with China, or how many of these weapons were produced. It is generally similar to the K11, but is chambered for Chinese 5.8x42 mm ammunition and has a single shot grenade launcher without magazine. After each shot the shooter has to reload it manually.

 

 
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