There are two things this new launcher would do. First bonus it will reduce the weight compared to the previous ones. For a soldier slogging it out there this is a huge bonus! The second thing is that these type of launchers tend to make the rifle front heavy - this one seems to be a good step forward, but still retaining the fire power. Nifty little design.
I might be being a bit thick, but how does having a removable barrel make it lighter.... the old grenade launcher literally clips on and off like a bayonette... if it makes it too front heavy then don't mount it till you want to fire grenades and then flick it off when you are done.
Having a removable barrel just seems to complicate things in my view.
The whole point of the bullpup ADS was to allow underbarrel grenade launchers to be attached as standard without upsetting the balance of the weapon.
Plus there is not much wrong with front heavy... most conventional rifles already are front heavy anyway.
The first attempts were 7.62x39 but it proved to be highly inaccurate and extremely noisy. The smaller caliber did improve things slightly.
Edit: Actually scrap that. I've read something on this many years ago but could not find any citation for it. Even as is the gun is very inaccurate and very noisy - making the new rifle a welcome addition
Yeah, have heard complaints about the poor accuracy of the AKS-74U, but the fact of the matter is that the barrels of the VSS and AS in 9x39mm have even shorter barrels and are reportedly quite accurate to 400m or so.
Maybe with the 193 grain subsonic 7.62x39mm ammo a short barreled AKS-74U might be quite accurate and also very quiet with a suppressor fitted too... they could re-purpose the suppressor fitted to the AS...
5.45 bullet design made it a lot less dependent on speed in order for it to tumble on impact. 5.56, particularly at certain bullet weights, requires a longer barrel to keep the bullet at sufficient speed in order for it not to ice pick. You will notice especially in person that the 5.45 is a lot longer than the usual 5.56 bullet.
as a result the small barrel AK still is quite effective in 5.45, and more accurate than you might think but is indeed loud.
The steel core of the 5.45mm round makes the projectile rather bigger than a similar weight western round... and because it can't be wider... it has to be longer, which improves its aerodynamics and its ballistics... the longer a bullet is the heavier it is but the more weight it concentrates in a small diameter area meaning it pushes through the air more efficiently that a shorter lighter round, but also it does not rely on velocity for its lethal effect like the 5.56mm round so it is still rather effective in a shorter barrel weapon.
I still think logically that if you have to have a short barrel then a small calibre high velocity bullet that relies on speed for effect makes less sense than a larger calibre heavier slower bullet that relies on mass for effect.