At the beginning of the invasion, Russian propagandists intimidated the audience with so-called “Banderomobiles”. Well, the Armed Forces adopted these famous combat units. Operational Command West shared the photos of pickups equipped with American Mk 19 automatic grenade launchers.
The practice of equipping pickups with machine guns and other heavy weapons is widespread in the world. They usually take a Toyota Hilux or Toyota Land Cruiser and mount it on a statin body for a heavy machine gun, place a mortar or anti-aircraft gun. Such weapons pickups are called “tekhnichka” (from Technical), and they are direct descendants of Nestor Makhno’s legendary “tachankas”.
The Armed Forces of Ukraine chose Mitsubishi and Nissan pickups instead of Toyota pickups, and an Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher instead of a machine gun, several hundred of which arrived as part of US military aid. Together they turned out to be very interesting weapons for light infantry, ambushes, raids behind the enemy lines and so on.
The 40-mm Mk 19 automatic grenade launcher has been in service with the US Army and 30 other countries since 1968, and has been modified four times since then. Thanks to the M430 double-action high-explosive grenade, the grenade launcher can be used even against lightly armored targets.
An option with a grenade launcher on a pickup truck is used, for example, by the Mexican army. And for the American HMMWV it is generally a regular weapon. Mk 19 rate of fire – 40-60 shots per minute. Aiming range – 1,500 m.
Mk 19 grenade launcher specifications
Mass – 35.2 kg
Length – 1090 mm
Width – 240 mm
Height – 199 mm
Barrel length – 413 mm
Cartridge – 40×53 mm
Rate of fire – 40 shots/min (sustained), 60 shots/min (rapid)
Muzzle velocity – 230-240 m/s
Effective firing range – 1,500 m
Maximum firing range – 2.212 m
Feeding system – 32- or 48-grenade belts
Unit cost – $20,000