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Hey everyone, just thought I would put this out there for everyone to enjoy/consider on their next Cobra build. While I was looking over some reviews of the new Kitty Hawk line of helos in 35th scale, I wondered why I didn't see the Mk19 getting some love by the kit makers, so I went searching for more info.

 

Anyway, long story short, the Mk19 is one of my favorite weapons systems I used while in the Army. Firing the ghost round always spooked me, not sure why. Anyway, those who have been blessed to fire the Mk19, know what a joy it is. The soft "ka-chunk" sound it makes and being able to watch the rounds flying to their target in a perfect arc that would make Tom Brady jealous! It is a beautiful weapons system that has leveled more than one line grove in the last two decades of combat. As I was not in the Air Cavalry, being a Scout instead, I did not know whether the air regiments were fitted for action as a door gunner options, so I wanted to investigate.

 

Sadly, I did not find any info on the Mk19's being used in such a way, but what I did find, is even cooler! Apparently back during the Southeast Asian conflict, some Huey Cobras were fitted the M28 turret, which could be configured with two 40mm grenade launchers, or one paired with a 7.62mm minigun. As pictured here:

 

bell-ah1-hueycobra_21.jpg

 

Now that is pretty cool. I would love to see the twin 40's doing a strafing run as some bad guys, who no doubt did not agree with me, but they never got to express their displeasure for obvious reasons!

 

Anyway, I wonder if Floyed Werner has any experience with this configuration and can maybe shed light about its function and capabilities. Does anyone also know whether this turret is an option is any scale? I have not looked around at the AH-1 kits as of now, but plan to do so very soon. Maybe Floyd can get Kitty Hawk to do a new 35th G model, or which ever version actually flew with this configuration.

 

Hope you enjoyed the pictures and my silly commentary, I just have a love for the Mk19, which ran a close second to the top of the hill crew served weapon, the MA-deuce!

Cobra_Gun_turret_(nf)_3907_(2076009617).

 

PS. Got to love that warning on the minigun!

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Posted (edited)

The chunker. At least that's what I recall the 40mm being nicknamed. The M28 was an upgrade from the first batches of AH-1Gs that had the TAT-102 subarmament system that only utilized one 7.62mm gun. The M28 could, although it was rare, be used with two 40mm grenade launcher however it was more common to see it with two miniguns during Vietnam. A lot of this info can be found in Jonathan Bernstein's 'US Army AH-1 Cobra Units in Vietnam's book. Highly recommended for any snake fan.

 

The M-28 was retained through the Cobra's Army service until the introduction of the ECAS (Enhanced Cobra Armament System) or AH-1E. It get really confusing with Cobras because of the Army's designation system changed. There's the AH-1S, or AH-1F (Fully Modernized). All of the get confusing but it's important to remember that basically any flate-plate canopy AH-1 will be outfitted with the M-197 Gatling gun. I have a few photos with the M-28 on them but this was basically an in-between timeframe. 

 

Here's a breakdown Floyd did that was converted to an image by another member on Hyperscale:

AH-1S%20Notes%201_zpsteizs8kq.jpg

 

AH-1S%20Notes%202_zpsyesuqwbb.jpg

As far as modelling go, it's the standard subarmament system on any AH-1G in any scale. 1/72 and the Revell 1/32 AH-1G are just about your only option right now as you'd have to convert a Fujimi AH-1J to a G to get it in 1/48.

 

Check out one of @Floyd S. Werner, Jr. and his 1/32 Cobra build here: http://www.scale-rotors.com/galerie/2-attack-helicopters/2938-ah-1g-cobra-.html

Edited by Whiskey

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4 hours ago, Whiskey said:

The chunker.

As always whiskey, you bring so much Intel to the thread, it's priceless! Hope others have enjoyed reading and looking at the pictures.

 

Anthony

 

PS. The chunkier, that sounds about right. The Mk19 had a strangely quiet report, you would think that sending a fist sized HE round over 4 football fields would require an explosion that would destroy your ears in one shot, but that is not the case at all. Same goes for the 203, another quite killer, but a pain to carry, worse than the M240Bravo, affectionately know as either "the pig", or my favorite, "the bad girl". You did not want to be on her bad side, the bad girl would make you pay every time!

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7 hours ago, Stalker6recon said:

bad girl 

Strange, I am certain I wrote a different word, twice. Something tells me that the site changed my words for me. Just so we are clear, I never wrote "bad girl", we called her the itch with a B. At the beginning of my reply, I also wrote "the chunker", my phone updated this week and ever since then, everything has gone to hand in a hell basket.

 

Cheers,

 

Anthony

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The site has a word filter and it changes the words automatically.

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Can't imagine it would ever be used by a helo door gunner.  First, not sure if it might weigh too much but second, firing a low velocity round perpendicular to the flight path, I would think it would pretty damned hard to shoot accurately.  

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34 minutes ago, 11bee said:

Can't imagine it would ever be used by a helo door gunner.  First, not sure if it might weigh too much but second, firing a low velocity round perpendicular to the flight path, I would think it would pretty damned hard to shoot accurately.  

 

As an area weapon you don't need to be that accurate but yeah I just don't see it being a good option.

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4 hours ago, 11bee said:

Can't imagine it would ever be used by a helo door gunner.  First, not sure if it might weigh too much but second, firing a low velocity round perpendicular to the flight path, I would think it would pretty damned hard to shoot accurately.  

I believe there was also a concern about even the 40x53mmR grenades spinning and arming properly when fired perpendicular to the flight paths. The last AH-1S operator manuals specifically say that the M129 can only be fired with the M28 locked in the forward position.

There are various pictures of 40mm grenade launchers in door- mounted applications, either as tests or on improvised mounts, but I imagine these accuracy and reliability concerns pretty much doomed that from ever really taking off so to speak.

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12 hours ago, Tank said:

site has a word filter 

Did not know this, thanks for the heads up!

 

8 hours ago, 11bee said:

pretty damned hard to shoot accurately

Tank pretty much said what I would say, but to consider this as well. If an aircrew were to encircle a area of action from a decent altitude, where shooting into the area was nearly straight down, this could really be a useful weapon especially when you have ground assets trying to break contact etc. The accuracy would be pretty good to control, since it is easy to see the rounds leaving the barrel, also the obvious explosive report would make adjustments fairly easy I would think. The only reason I figure it does not make a good weapon for crew, is the sheer weight of it. The M2 t&e was the most effective means of shooting that accurately in my experience. With one guy pushing the butterfly, and another turning the t&e, walking rounds onto the target.

 

I am sure they have perfected the weight issue for the M2, using some sort of system that makes the weapon easy to manipulate from the door of a helicopter, or there would not be that option in the first place, and gunners would be limited to the 240brave, or whatever version is used in the helicopter.

 

This has made for an interesting discussion and I certain that there are good reasons for not having the Mk19's as pintle mount weapons, or we would have seen them in this role already. I was hoping someone that is/was a crew chief on a Blackhawk could give us more info, but even if it is not suited for combat roles, anyone that has experience with the Mk19 also knows how freaking fun it would be to take on the entire taliban with HE from a few hundred meters off the deck. Maybe that is the reason as well, flying low and fast, makes time to target with eyes on, very difficult. By the time the first rounds detonate, you are shooting way far away already, trying to correct would be futile.

 

Brings up another interesting question for you C-130 gunners out there. I am sure I can look this up, but would love to get it from the horses good end. Is the 40mm autocannon on the 130 at all similar to the M203/Mk19 He rounds?

4 hours ago, thatguy96 said:

grenades spinning and arming properly 

I don't remember the specs, but for some reason 13 revolutions to arm keeps sticking in my brain. Not sure if that is accurate or where I got that from, it's all pretty jumbled up inside the grey(ish) matter! Which leads to another interesting question. If you had to paint your brain, would you go with flat gull grey, or light ghost grey in ? Some guys here probably go with burn iron or worse, rust!

 

Anyway, as far as the arming up, I used to play around with the grenades, trying to spin them up via little hand tossing into the air over SOFT ground. Some guys would freak out a bit, but I am certain that the grenade needs to be put of the shell before the rotational arming kicks in, but kept that to myself. First, because I was not certain of that as fact, second, because anything to have fun always.

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Have you heard of the AP-2H? A conversion of the P-2 Neptune Sub-Chaser aircraft for use against ground targets during the Vietnam war. Only 4 were done, and the received quite a package!

https://p2vneptune.com/v07c.shtml

 

One of their features was a set of 8 (!) downward firing 40mm grenade-launchers, mounted into the weapons bay.

 

Looked like this...:

 

Grenadelaunchers.jpg

 

 

HAJO

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46 minutes ago, Hajo L. said:

One of their features was a set of 8 (!) downward firing 40mm grenade-launchers, mounted into the weapons bay. 

Now THAT is a thing of absolute beauty! Can you imagine the horror when all eight barrels opened up on a battalion of men marching along, when these started popping off everywhere?

 

For those who never served, the explosions created by hand grenades, Mk19's and 203's are actually quite unimpressive, just a loud pop, and a bit of grey smoke, not the GIANT fireball hollyweed would have us believe. Obviously secondary explosions are possible, but the grenades themselves are boring, but devastating to the living. If memory serves, the kill radius of all three is 5 meters, with a wound radius of 15 meters, they are nasty weapons. As area target weapons, accuracy is not required, just in the area is good enough.

 

I am sure there are good reasons we don't see them swinging from the doors of Blackhawks, but under the right circumstances, it could be a game changer on a battlefield. The ramp of either the MH-47 or CH-53 also seems like logical locations for the Mk19, they could be used just to cause avalanches over enemy positions in the winter time in places like afghan. During WWII, this was actually done by both sides in mountain warfare, scary stuff.

 

Anyway, thanks for the added Intel and pics, that is really cool, if it weren't such a nasty way to utilize the awesome Mk19!

 

Anthony

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Posted (edited)

Throw a hand grenade short, you might have a different opinion on impressive. I do agree on the smoke and fire.

 

I think another issue for not being on helos is the rep for having issues. Rounds cooking off for a 240 or ma deuce is different then a mk19. At least that is what I recall from back in the day. 

Edited by Tank

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On 4/17/2019 at 7:26 AM, 11bee said:

Can't imagine it would ever be used by a helo door gunner.  First, not sure if it might weigh too much but second, firing a low velocity round perpendicular to the flight path, I would think it would pretty damned hard to shoot accurately.  

 

A good gunner can walk any round/s on target.

 

191st Assault Helicopter Company Can Tho, Republic of Vietnam. Their Nighthawk was known as Night Breed.

 

191st+Half+Breed+Night+Hawk+RH.jpg

 

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Posted (edited)

Apparently I've been down this trail before in my notes I took but I cant remember the details. Sorry about that. It was during my research on Nighthawks I was likely asking about involvement with or by ACTIV - Army Concept Team in Vietnam who fielded a lot of things we fly in modern cockpits to this day as well as armament we use.

 

The Gunslingers of the 128th Assault Helicopter Company did a one up over the MK 19 Mod 0. This is what I took down:

 

"In over 15 years I've been researching Vietnam era helicopters, I've come to a conclusion that door mounted automatic high velocity 40-mm grenade launchers are the unicorn of Vietnam era door guns, LOL- only a few were tested and even fewer photos of them taken. ACTIV had nothing to do with the setup used by the 128th AHC. The 40-mm door gun system was devised by Lee Leshen (KIA) and James Graf using components of the M28 turret subsystem from AH-1G in 1969. The same goes for the setup in Your photo - ACTIV weren't involved. It was mounted on one of the last two UH-1Cs used by the Bravo troop 1/9 Cav while they were already transitioning to AH-1Gs. I had a pleasure of discussing this setup with Rick Chesson who devised it in 1969. The gunship with this twin 40-mm setup was quite a hit with B troop and ended up being covered with "coolie hat" kill markings by the time it got retired in 1970."

 

Here is Lee Leshen with the door mounted system him and James Graf came up with. RIP Lee.

Lee Beshen on 'The Toad' ready to rumble 128th AHC

Lee+Beshen+on+The+Toad+ready+to+rumble+1

 

Gunslinger 967 nickname of this rig was The Toad - James Graf CE of 967 said it worked surprisingly well but was removed in favor of twin 60s

 

Gunslinger+967+nickname+of+this+rig+was+

I believe this is the setup mentioned in my notes that was flown by B Troop 1/9 CAV and devised by Rick Chesson. It also used components of the M28 turret subsystem from AH-1G.

 

RG-21.jpg

 

Edited by snake36bravo
headspace gauge said no-go

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12 hours ago, snake36bravo said:

I believe this is the setup mentioned in my notes that was flown by B Troop 1/9 CAV and devised by Rick Chesson. It also used components of the M28 turret subsystem from AH-1G.

WOW, would you look at that!

 

Now that is what I'm talking about! I would guess that the little stubby barrel would slow the already seemingly slow 40mm to near "catch it in the air" speeds. I recall very well the "ka-chunk" sound of the Mk19's, which really surprised me, I thought it would be much louder. This little baby probably has bit more report from the shortened barrel, but being in a help, any increase in sound is likely drown out by the engines anyway.

 

I can understand why they went with the twin 60's, but having several helps with different capabilities is always a good thing. In our trucks, we had several different weapons mounted, the M2 of course, the M240 7.62mm and the Mk19. Each one having a role to play. It would stand to reason that a squad of helps have different capabilities, especially since they can only fight from one side at a time, usually anyway. But again, I was a ground pounder, just admired the men in the birds above.

 

Tell you one thing I also learned, the AH-64 is able to creep up on you and you truly won't hear a thing. I had them show up on my six, while dismounted, and by the time I actually hear them, they were less than 300 meters away, flying low and slow as they were getting ready to land. Incredible machines.

 

 

Thanks for the great story and the great pictures!

 

Anthony

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Pretty cool pics of that Mk 19 Mod 0 setup.  Still, given the really low muzzle velocity and the fact that the Huey was moving through choppy air, at 100 mph plus, the door gunner must have been a graduate of sniper school to get rounds in the correct grid square, let alone close to a point target!

 

 

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21 hours ago, 11bee said:

Pretty cool pics of that Mk 19 Mod 0 setup.  Still, given the really low muzzle velocity and the fact that the Huey was moving through choppy air, at 100 mph plus, the door gunner must have been a graduate of sniper school to get rounds in the correct grid square, let alone close to a point target!

 

 

 

It's an area weapon not a point weapon. Great when you can bullseye the 5meter (16 ft ) kill zone but the real power with a grenade launcher is areas of carnage in one go, 130m (427 ft) casualty radius. 

 

If grenade launchers mounted on helos didn't work they would never have mounted the M-5 grenade launcher on the nose of a Huey Gunship or put one in the turret on the AH-1G next to the M134 mini-gun and the snake was balls to wall for it's time.  In field modded cases above I think it came down to being able to suppress and cover with a 60 better especially on the break from the gun run versus any lack of effective operation. Higher rate of fire as well over the grenade launcher.

 

The last 120th AHC Razorback reunion I attended I didn't hear any gripes about the M-5 Chunker/Thumper/Pooper/Blooper and I asked, specifically about flying into your rounds or having to adjust airspeed in KIAs (knots in Airspeed). Instead the comment I remember is 'Oh I loved the Thumper!' They could see the rounds heading down range but they didn't fly into them and 'you could in-flight adjust before the rounds even landed on target' (Razorback 3-6).

 

  nose%20of%20AC670.JPG

 

I get what your saying but it's just not how it works even from my own experience as Weapons Squad Leader. Also, a good gunner is just that. They are forward thinking their rounds on target and adjusting, even outside of the tracers designed to assist in marking and adjusting fire. When they are working out a gun you see a lot of smooth little circular movements in their bodies not from recoil but from their traverse and elevate motion. With a grenade launcher my analogy was always throwing water balloons. The more balloons you lob the better you get at splashing your target or putting them in the kill zone.

 

Anyway sorry for the long string in my back.

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2 minutes ago, snake36bravo said:

 

It's an area weapon not a point weapon. Great when you can bullseye the 5meter (16 ft ) kill zone but the real power with a grenade launcher is areas of carnage in one go, 130m (427 ft) casualty radius. 

 

If grenade launchers mounted on helos didn't work they would never have mounted the M-5 grenade launcher on the nose of a Huey Gunship or put one in the turret on the AH-1G next to the M134 mini-gun and the snake was balls to wall for it's time.  In field modded cases above I think it came down to being able to suppress and cover with a 60 better especially on the break from the gun run versus any lack of effective operation. Higher rate of fire as well over the grenade launcher.

 

The last 120th AHC Razorback reunion I attended I didn't hear any gripes about the M-5 Chunker/Thumper/Pooper/Blooper and I asked, specifically about flying into your rounds or having to adjust airspeed in KIAs (knots in Airspeed). Instead the comment I remember is 'Oh I loved the Thumper!' They could see the rounds heading down range but they didn't fly into them and 'you could in-flight adjust before the rounds even landed on target' (Razorback 3-6).

 

  nose%20of%20AC670.JPG

 

I get what your saying but it's just not how it works even from my own experience as Weapons Squad Leader. Also, a good gunner is just that. They are forward thinking their rounds on target and adjusting, even outside of the tracers designed to assist in marking and adjusting fire. When they are working out a gun you see a lot of smooth little circular movements in their bodies not from recoil but from their traverse and elevate motion. With a grenade launcher my analogy was always throwing water balloons. The more balloons you lob the better you get at splashing your target or putting them in the kill zone.

 

Anyway sorry for the long string in my back.

No worries at all Snake.  All good info.   I was aware that this was an area weapon, not point but just assumed that given the low rate of fire and the low muzzle velocity (any idea what the MV is on that weapon?), it would be marginal at best.  

 

With regard to the setup on the Cobra, thought I read somewhere that many of the Cobra pilots didn't like the 40mm for the reasons above and also since it's trajectory was so far off from the minigun that you could only effectively employ one of those weapons at once.   

 

Since the issue of the Cobra has come up, I'll take this opportunity to get on my soapbox and ask again - WHY HAVEN'T WE SEEN A NEW 1/35th AH-1G COBRA????

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Posted (edited)

Cool, I can get Chatty Kathy real quick. They fire both high-velocity and low-velocity,  260 meters a second(850 feet per second) for the M129(M5) while the MK 19 is 230–240 m/s  (750–790 fps averaged)

 

I heard it from a friend too but then I've got a June 1969 image of 2 Thumpers mounted in the chin turret on a G versus the standard M134 and M129 setup. If it was a turd I cant see why they would go that route. The Snake for me is just death on call for real. For that airframe cannons became the thing as did AT capability which pretty much sh**canned the grenade launcher as any kind of viable option other than for grunts. Standoff weapons and the role changed. 

 

June+1969+2.jpg

 

Also Im right there with you on the 1/35 AH-1G.

Edited by snake36bravo
Correcting minigun designator and adding 1969 turret image

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50 minutes ago, snake36bravo said:

'you could in-flight adjust before the rounds even landed on target' (Razorback 3-6). 

This is exactly what I was thinking. There are very few weapons systems that allows you to see the round from muzzle to hit, all the way thru to arc (no pun intended), a good gunner, meaning one that fired the weapon constantly and knows the trajectory of the rounds, would have no trouble putting them home, after a few, three, shots at most. It is different certainly in the air, as the target may remain stable, but you are moving your azz off. Again, a good gunner would still learn to lead targets, or in this case, fire short and allow the lateral movement to carry the rounds where he wanted.

 

I am surprised that these are not fielded more, and maybe the ammo can is a big reason for this. One can of 40mm is 33 rounds, not exactly the 3500 or so rounds the m134 has stored, but with the large cans, they could carry enough to level a football sized area to dusty red paint. It would seem particularly a nice touch if fired from the tail of a MH-47 or CH-53E, sort of a see you later, only a big middle finger instead, just letting everyone know that they were there. With a range of 1800 meters, this could be increased by elevation of course, but forward speed would likely cancel that out, elevation of the barrel as well, don't want to hit the tail boom or rotors with a rounds, although I doubt the rotors would care very much.

 

The Idea that you need super accuracy is only if trying to fire into a pill box, but for the kind of mountain top fighting and even the urban warfare, this has it's place. They have been used to literally cut down entire palm groves in Iraq.

 

But I digress, there are obviously guys in these birds that have decided, for one reason or another, not to make them a choice in modern helo's, and I am certain they have justified reasons for it, just wish they could share with us.

 

Thanks for sharing those very cool pictures, I doubt I would ever have known about this had it not been for the incredible amount of knowledge located in these forums, in fact, the big "think tanks" on war policy, would never do harm by coming here and talking with the guys in these forums, might actually learn a thing or two.

 

By the way, you have to excuse my comments, every time I wrote "helo", the autocorrect has been changing it to "help", I only now noticed this. Rather annoying, but such is life when spelling is left to a program running in the background.

 

Cheers,

 

Anthony

 

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1 hour ago, snake36bravo said:

5meter (16 ft ) 

Forgot to add, 5 meter kill, 15 meter wound! We all know that one wounded man equals three out of the fight, we are talking about wounded carrying the wounded carrying the wounded, it's wounded to the power of..... WOUNDED!

 

I almost feel bad for those guys in the 6-10 meters, but living is better than dying I guess. If you are going to be sub 5, might as well be inches, no way you want to hear or feel what that round is about to do to you.

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1 hour ago, 11bee said:

any idea what the MV is on that weapon?

I for one, can't remember the velocity, but I do remember this much. With a point target accuracy of 800 meters (if my memory serves) and an area target of 1800 meters (my memory is hazy, and I am sure I will be corrected if wrong) and an overall range of 2000 plus meters, the velocity has to be pretty quick. The size of the round is probably deceptive, since you can see it, you think it's moving slower than it actually is. Similar to when gunning the 25mm Bushmaster, even through the sights, I was able to see the rounds following the firing solutions path to their target, rising up then falling into their target. At ranges of 500 meters, any closer, and the rounds were usually there by the time the recoil and puff of smoke had cleared, the trajectory was also much flatter, they rounds are easier to see when they are still rising, then fall on the target.

 

My memory is not what it once was though, so hopefully someone has more details to add or correct. I could just Google it, but pride would have me just put out what I know and remember and be corrected, to Google it would be cheating.

 

Cheers, hope you get your new G, I hear somebody on ARC has a line with KH, maybe ask him to recommend to KH a new kit, seeing is how he was a Cobra driver, he would love to get another one on his mantle as well!

 

Cheers,

 

Anthony

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Not to beat a dead horse but what exactly is this weapon?  Doesn't look like any Mk 19 I've ever seen, looks more like a motorized version of the Navy's hand cranked Mk 18.    I'm by no means an expert on this subject, just curious.

Lee+Beshen+on+The+Toad+ready+to+rumble+1

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This is an M129 grenade launcher. Its primary use was in the M28 armament subsystem for AH-1 helicopters.

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