Nonlethal grenade launchers are used by military deployments to disperse crowds without using lethal force.

One such articulated launcher, developed by Moog Space and Defense Group of Moog Inc., East Aurora, N.Y., incorporates an electromechanically controlled, dual-axis positioner that moves two grenade discharge racks with the capacity for six grenades—allowing individual positioning and deployment of grenades up to 100 m away. Called the Electrically Articulated Grenade Launcher System or EAGLS, it accommodates standard 66-mm smoke and anti-riot grenades.

The launcher is continuously adjustable in azimuth and discretely adjustable in elevation via a closed-loop drive system—comprised of stepper motors, motor drivers, and high-resolution optical encoders.

The combination of these components and a control board (including software) ensures accurate position response to all operator commands, whether inputs via a joystick or pre-programmed moves based on vehicle coordinates. This same closed-loop drive also provides on-command low frequency active stabilization. Six degrees of freedom can simulate the vehicle movement and the launcher’s stabilization.

Unlike traditional systems, the launcher allows flexible on-vehicle mounting capabilities, because it is scalable –making it suitable for both peace engagement and conventional warfare. It also withstands the harshest mobile or stationary environments.

“This self-contained, articulated system can be added to combat or tactical vehicles to increase mission capability through obscuration or threat deterrence,” says Tony Peck, Moog’s business unit director for Defense Controls. “It increases the survivability of both the vehicle and troops in a variety of engagement scenarios.”

An optional wide-angle day sight camera can be integrated as part of a surveillance suite for 360-degree situational awareness and active stabilization for low-bandwidth shooting on the move.