Firearms and the KISS Principle.


The following article is a great example of why sometimes it pays to practice the KISS Principle:

Electromagnetic Interference caused K-11 KABOOM:
A Korean news website has revealed that in October last year a S&T Daewoo K11 exploded after one of its 20mm grenades was prematurely detonated. The soldier who was operating the gun suffered cuts on his hands and face. Ironically another problem with the gun, the poor lethality of the small 20mm grenades, saved the solider life.


The Korean Department of Defense attributes the problem to electromagnetic interference from the Fire Control System. Reading between the lines, it sounds like it may have been a software bug with the FCS.

I am troubled that it was even possible for the grenade to detonate. The grenade it supposed to be spin-armed, ensuring it has been fired a certain distance before detonating. Maybe a bug in the software (either on the grenade or on the FCS or both) allowed the grenade to be armed at a distance of zero, allowing it to be detonated in the barrel.

Kindly translated from Chosun.com by Uribury …

Electromagnetic wave interference caused K-11 rifle explosion

October 14th, 2011. A K-11 rifle exploded during field test.

Shooter, private second class Lee of ROKA 32nd div suffered some cuts and scrapes on his hands and face but not life threatening injures

This accident caused another delay of K-11 rifle production.

Early 2011 K-11’s poor quality control and lack of reliability caused production delay, after trouble shooting and more field test, it was said to begin production in november 2011.

And this accident messed all up.

Department of defense made a team to inspect this accident and recently announced electromagnetic wave interference between rifle FCS and 20mm ammo fuse caused the accident.

This is what happened. The transmitter which sends trigger signal to ammo fuse was not properly fixed because of design defect.

And the shooter squeezes trigger a little before fire, it interact with not properly positioned transmitter and send wrong signal to 20mm ammo fuse.

It caused 20mm round explosion in the barrel.

Fortunately K-11’s titanium barrel or 20mm ammo’s lack of lethality saved the soldier.

An official of DEPA(Defense Acquisition Program Administration) which under DOD said that all 246 already produced K-11 will be recalled and will change triggering system design, FCS program.

Plus, there will be improvement on short battery life in cold weather and laser range finding trouble on rainy day will be fixed on next version of the rifle.

Until June all the improvement will be examined through performance test and confirmation of technology study committee then will judge field the weapon or not.

[ Many thanks to uribury871 for emailing us the link and translation. ]

Advanced technology is great until it (literally) blows up in your face. Given the increase in solar activity and such, maybe this type of weapon should be TEMPEST rated.

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