Military firearms enthusiasts know what is a sniper rifle and a grenade launcher. But do you know that is a weapon that is a marriage of the two? That’s right. Sniper Grenade Launcher is a thing.
While the Wikipedia entry described the Norinco LG5/QLU-11 as a “semi-automatic grenade launcher”, it really is a sniper grenade launcher. Because that is exactly what it is: long-range, precision delivery of grenade ammunition.
It is a sniper rifle, but instead of regular caliber ammunitions, it sends fragmentation or armor-piercing rounds downrange at a speed of up to 240 meters per second (787.4 feet per second).
At a glance, it looks totally like a sniper rifle too. Except that it has a significantly larger diameter barrel.
The Norinco LG5/QLU-11 is a product of China Ordnance Industries Group Corporation Limited. It is in service with the People’s Liberation Army (PLA) since 2011.
The gun itself weighs 12.9 kilograms (28 lbs) on a bipod or a hefty 23 kilograms (51 lbs) with a tripod, and it stretches a lengthy 1,225 mm (48.2 inches), which is about the length of the legendary Barrett M82.
It can fire a variety of 40 x 53 mm grenades, including HEDP rounds, high-precision rounds, programmable ammunition, incendiary rounds, and more.
The Norinco LG5/QLU-11 Grenade Sniper Rifle has an effective range of up to 800 meters (2,624.67 feet). The heavy version, as it is known, has an astounding effective range of 2,500 meters (or 1.55 miles).
One of the star features of the LG5/QLU-11 is, it can be used with a fire-control system with a laser rangefinder for precise shots, thermal imaging capability, and a ballistic computer (for the air burst capability).
The idea of the LG5/QLU-11 isn’t an original one, though. It was inspired by the American Barrett XM109 anti-material rifle which was never produced, let alone seen actions.
The Chinese iteration, however, was put in combat test against the Somali pirates in the Gulf of Aden by the Chinese marines.
Images: Norinco [CH].