Armbrust ("Crossbow") grenade launcher was developed during late seventies by German company Messerschmitt-Bolkow-Blohm (MBB) as a short-range anti-tank weapon for individual infantrymen. The Armbrust is particularly suitable for urban combat, as it permits fire from confined space, and safe zonebehind weapon is just about one meter. It is no longer produced in Germany, but license production rights were granted to Belgian company PRB and Singaporean company ST Kinetics.
Armbrust grenade launcher fires shaped-charge HEAT grenade, which is stabilized in flight by folding fins. The entire launcher is disposable, with fiberglass-made barrel. Firing is using Davis type recoil-less system, using countermass comprising of polymer flakes. To suppress flash and blast of the launch, the propellant charge is located in the barrel between two pistons or wads, front and rear. When propellant is ignited, front piston pushes the grenade forward, and rear piston pushes the counter mass rearward. Both pistons are then securely jammed at each end of the barrel, capturing hot propellant gases within the barrel. immediately after the discharge the barrel is hot, but it provides no blast or burn danger, and can be safely discarded.
The firing system uses pieso-electric trigger. Folding pistol grip also serves as a safety, blocking the trigger system when folded forward.
Since 2004, Armbrusts are gradually being replaced by the Singapore-German-Israeli co-developed MATADOR.