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Rifle xk11.jpg
The S&T Daewoo K11.
Type Dual-barrel air-burst weapon
Place of origin Republic of Korea
Service history
In service 2010–present [1]
Wars War in Afghanistan[2]
Production history
Designer Agency for Defense Development
S&T Daewoo
EO System
Hansung ILS
Designed 2000-2008 [3]
Manufacturer S&T Daewoo [3]
Unit cost US$14,000 [4]
Produced 2010-present [1]
Weight 6.1 kg (13.45 lb) empty[3]
Length 860 mm (33.86 in) [3]
Barrel length
  • 310 mm (12 in) (KE) [5]
  • 405 mm (15.9 in) (HE) [5]

  • Caliber
  • 5.56x45mm NATO (KE) [3]
  • 20x30mm grenade (HE) [3]
  • Action
  • Gas operated, rotating bolt (rifle section) [5]
  • Bolt action (launcher section) [3]
  • Rate of fire 700 RPM (KE)
    Muzzle velocity
  • 960 m/s (3,100 ft/s) (KE)
  • 200 m/s (660 ft/s) (HE)
  • Effective range
  • 300 m (KE)
  • 500 m (HE) [4]
  • Feed system
  • STANAG Magazines (KE) [3]
  • 5-round box (HE) [3]
  • Sights Ballistics computer, day (Optical)/night (Thermal vision) vision sight [3]

    The S&T Daewoo K11 DAW (Dual-barrel Air-burst Weapon)[6] is an assault rifle chambered to fire 5.56x45mm NATO rounds, as well as 20x30mm air-burst smart grenade from its overbarrel launcher.[3] Two conventional 20 mm shells either detonate immediately on impact or on a timed fuse after impact. A third type of shell is controlled by the weapon's integrated electronics to explode a few meters from the target, yielding an air burst effect capable of killing targets within a 6 m area and seriously wounding those within a 8 m area. Users enter a range at which the shell is to detonate, allowing targets in ditches, in buildings, or behind walls to be destroyed without requiring the shell to strike the target.[7]

    In May 2010, the United Arab Emirates purchased a quantity of 40 K11s for evaluation purposes for a total cost of US$560,000, giving an indicative unit cost of US$14,000.[4]


    The K11 was officially unveiled to the public at the DSEI military expo, though information pertaining to its development was available since 2006.[8]

    The weapon was adopted by the Republic of Korea Armed Forces in 2008 and was distributed within the Republic of Korea Army during 2010, making it the world's first army to use an airburst rifle as standard issue in the military.[3] Each squad is reported to be issued two K11s, though it will not replace grenadiers who currently use K2 rifles with the underslung K201 grenade launcher.[3]

    In March 2011 it was announced that 15 out of 39 K11s issued since June 2010 (including 7 out of 20 rifles used by Korean forces in Afghanistan) had shown serious defects and the decision had been made to halt production and modify the design. The defects included: barrel movements during firing, defects in the striking mechanism, condensation forming inside the laser reception lens, and defects in switching from single to automatic fire.[9] South Korea's state procurement agency, The Defense Acquisition Procurement Agency (DAPA) said it has fixed the defects by modifying the designs and improving the shooting control system and will resume its production.[10]

    A total of 4,000 K11s will be produced with all to be fielded by 2014.[11]


    Equipped with a laser range-finder as well as a ballistics computer, the K11 allows the operator to quickly find the distance to a target and launch an air burst shell. The shell will then detonate a few meters away from the target.[12]

    An electronic scope is integrated on the K11; it can be linked to a goggle system with a digital display. The display can be used during nighttime with thermal imaging, and shows the range information from the laser range-finder.

    The weapon is compatible with standard 20- or 30-round 5.56 mm NATO magazines, and can hold 6-round magazines of 20 mm shells at one time.[13]

    The fire selector position and layout is similar to the M16/M4 rifles' selector, though some controls are different. It has four positions, three of which are: 9 o'clock for safe; 6 o'clock for three-round burst for the rifle; and 3 o'clock for semiautomatic fire for the rifle. Spent shells are ejected from the right of the weapon from the 2 o’clock position of the shooter for left-handed operation. The fourth selector position is at 12 o'clock and controls the grenade launcher, allowing bullets and grenades to be fired using the same trigger. Because of this they both cannot be available at the same time, although other rifle/grenade launcher combination weapons rarely need that capability.[14]

    There are two types of 20 mm grenade rounds for the K11, which are training and high-explosive. The training rounds are for practice and have no explosives. Explosive ammunition has an internal fuze with three selectable settings: point detonation, point detonation-delay, and airburst. The integrated weapon sight programs the airburst warheads after the laser rangefinder sights a target when the launcher is selected (the sight automatically provides aiming points for bullets and grenades when their firing modes are selected). Point detonation explodes the shell on impact with a target and point detonation-delay lets the warhead penetrate a target before exploding; penetration ability is unknown. The airburst setting detonates the grenade round in front of, over, or behind a target to hit troops in cover. If a round is not fired within two minutes of targeting information being programmed, it will disarm itself. If a grenade does not explode, a backup self-destruct safety mechanism automatically detonates it after being at rest two seconds after impact to leave no unexploded ordnance. One of the problems with the previous American Objective Individual Combat Weapon, which influenced the combination rifle/airburst launcher concept, was that its 20 mm grenade rounds were not very lethal. The fragments were often too small and light to be effective, there was not enough explosive material to create a large kill radius, and many fragments were dispersed vertically and away from the target. This was one of the reasons the OICW effort was cancelled, and it is not known if these deficiencies were addressed with the K11's airburst grenades of the same size.[14]


    See also


    1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "숨은 적 공격하는 K11 소총, 국내 본격 공급". Yonhap. Retrieved 2010-05-31. 
    2. "김태영 국방부장관, 해외파병부대 격려방문 및 인도네시아와 군사교류 협력 다져". Ministry of National Defense of Republic of Korea. 2010-08-10. 
    3. 3.00 3.01 3.02 3.03 3.04 3.05 3.06 3.07 3.08 3.09 3.10 3.11 3.12 Wilk, Remigiusz (March 2010). "Infantry Weapons: The Future Beckons for Asia". Asian Military Review. Retrieved 2010-06-18. 
    4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Ivan Gale (27 May 2010). "UAE buys rifles from South Korea". The National. 
    5. 5.0 5.1 5.2
    9. "Back to the Drawing Board for Korea's New Assault Rifle". The Chosunilbo. 7 March 2011. 
    11. S&T Daewoo K11 DAW (Dual-barrel Air-burst Weapon) -, 3 October 2013
    14. 14.0 14.1 Daewoo K11 Advanced Combat Rifle: The Future Has Arrived -, 6 January 2012

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