September 13, 2005:
At a recent public demonstration, a new tool for
battlefield surveillance was unveiled: a grenade-launcher fired,
parachute-deployed camera for use by troops in the field. Fired by the
MLG-140 six-round rotating-barrel shotgun, the High-Altitude Unit
Navigated Tactical Imaging Round (HUNTIR) floats down over the enemy as
it feeds live images back to a TV-compatible computer monitor on the
ground, giving aerial surveillance capability at the platoon
The HUNTIR Round is a fixed-type cartridge designed to be fired from
the MLG-140 as well as from the M79 and M203 grenade launchers. The
round consists of a cartridge case assembly, and a metal projectile
body containing a first fire charge, a pyrotechnic delay column, an
ejection charge, a camera, and parachute assembly. Upon firing, the
projectile assembly is launched approximately 235 meters into the air.
The first fire charge ignites the pyrotechnic delay element, which
ignites another charge that ejects the camera, which is attached to the
parachute. The camera provides up to five minutes of both daytime and
nighttime (infra-red), real-time, streaming video to either a standard
handheld TV monitor or to a dedicated receiver available from the
vendor. The camera provides detailed video up to
about 1,500 meters. The HUNTIR camera is enclosed in an aluminum body, broadcasting in US-standard television.
The MLG-140 40mm grenade launcher is designed to fire not only HUNTIR
but also a new family of “hyper-lethal” munitions, in addition to all
military rounds. The MLG-140 fires six rounds in three seconds at
ranges up to 400 meters, effectively covering a minimum destruction
area/zone of 20x60 meters. The primary specialized round for the
MLG-140 is the MEI HELLHOUND (High Order Unbelievable Nasty Destructive
Series) Round, or HELLHOUND 40mm Low Velocity Multi-Purpose Grenade.
First the HUNTIR finds the enemy and then the HELLHOUND vaporizes him.
True vertical integration.<br>
Each HUNTIR round costs about $400, with the price per round dropping
as order quantity increases. First made available in July, 2005, HUNTIR
is already being evaluated by US military units worldwide although the
dollar value of current and future contracts remains proprietary. The
current value to the US soldier in combat is clear.