For more than a year, activists in Bahrain have been posting pictures of the following type of 40mm tear gas canister fired by police.
This type of canister is manufactured by Rheinmetall Denel Munition (Pty) Ltd, or one of its predecessor companies. Rheinmetall Denel is 51%-owned by Germany company Rheinmetall Waffe Munition GmbH, and 49%-owned by South African company Denel (Pty) Ltd. Despite the joint ownership, all of Rheinmetall Denel’s operations seem to be located in South Africa. Rheinmetall Denel was formed in 2008 when Rheinmetall acquired a 51% stake in Denel Munitions, a Denel subsidiary. Before Rheinmetall Denel, Bahrain Watch understands that this type of canister was manufactured by Swartklip Products, part of Denel Munitions. Rheinmetall Denel now operates the Swartklip plant. A division of Rheinmetall is also the manufacturer of the MK-13 flashbangs used by police.
Protesters claim that police fire this type of tear gas canister from their six-shot semiautomatic tear gas launchers (referred to as “C4″ or “Y2 MK1″ weapons by protesters). Visual evidence also appears to support this claim. The weapon appears to be visually identical to the 40mm Multiple Anti Riot (MAR), manufactured by South African-based Milkor.