From “Flame” to “Balkan”: how domestic AGS developed

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From “Flame” to “Balkan”: how domestic AGS developed

When on June 28, 1965, the American mounted grenade launcher Mk 18 Mod 0 was delivered to the head of the Main Intelligence Directorate of the USSR General Staff, then Colonel General Pyotr Ivashutin, he mistook it for a filmoscope for viewing filmstrips. To fire in bursts, the shooter had to turn the handle, like a Gatling gun. However, it was this grenade launcher that forced the Soviet military to order the development of a domestic automatic grenade launcher.

Around the same time, Tula gunsmith designer Valery Telesh began developing a 40-mm under-barrel grenade launcher, which was put into service in 1978 under the designation GP-25. This grenade launcher is loaded like a mortar, from the muzzle, which is due to the placement of the powder charge in the grenade itself, which does not require the extraction of a non-existent cartridge case.





However, Telesh was not the only one who developed an under-barrel grenade launcher. The first Soviet grenade launcher was created back in 1967 by Tula designer Kim Demidov, one of whose assistants was Telesh at that time.

During comparative tests with the American M203 grenade launcher mounted on the M16A1 automatic rifle, the GP-25 demonstrated higher accuracy and accuracy of hits, and its VOG-25 ammunition hit targets with fragments three times more often than the American counterpart M406, however, the GP-25 25 had more noticeable recoil. However, the VOG-17 was superior in its characteristics to the VOG-XNUMX, which had already been adopted by the first Soviet AGS by that time.



Based on these results, Telesh came up with the idea of ​​​​creating an easel grenade launcher for a 40-mm caseless shot. However, when the designer began to present this idea to his superiors, he was told that the Soviet army already had the AGS-17 automatic mounted grenade launcher; the lower efficiency of its grenades compared to the grenade launcher was fully compensated by the high rate of fire.

Soon after this, an armed conflict began in Afghanistan, during which it became clear that carrying the almost two-pound AGS-17 through the mountains was somewhat difficult. In this regard, Telesh was instructed to design a lightweight grenade launcher.



Already in 1980, Telesh’s group created a 40-mm automatic mounted grenade launcher TKB-0134 “Kozlik”. The mass of the "Kozlik" together with the machine did not exceed 16 kg, while for the AGS-17 only the body of the grenade launcher weighed 18 kg.



Not stopping there, Telesh’s team designed another 40-mm grenade launcher, information about which first appeared in 1999. The new product was given the name AGS-40 "Balkan".

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  1. 0
    1 July 2024 16: 15
    It’s somehow strange. “The goat” weighed 18 kg, and the “new” Balkan is 13 kg heavier with the same caliber. Is that really how the “goat” really weighed?
  2. +1
    1 July 2024 19: 45
    I've been hearing about this Balkan since 99. Created, somewhere there, but in fact not.