The Disposable Barrel and Case Area Target Ammunition (DBCATA for short) is a disposable, single-use grenade launcher developed by the AAI Corporation.
It is essentially a 40×46mm M406 grenade whose casing acts as both a firing chamber and barrel, with rifling on the inside, along with a piston primer similar to those seen on AAI's flechette ammunition.
In a manner similar to the 12 gauge Teleshot cartridge, which AAI had also developed, the DBCATA's basic operation is that when the piston primer ignites the powder, the expanding gases are retained in a metal diaphragm which expands but never explodes. This expansion is what launches the projectile, and because the gases never escape into the atmosphere, there is no flash and significantly less noise compared to a conventional grenade launcher.
AAI's second-generation SPIW prototypes featured single- or three-shot launching apparatus for DBCATA.
One major flaw of the DBCATA system is that it was very expensive to manufacture.
It was developed for the SPIW program, which required both a "point" and "area" target approach. For AAI, it would be accomplished by a combination of its flechette rounds for point targets, and the DBCATA for the area targets. The combination, due to weight restrictions in the program and pushing of technological boundaries, proved to be unworkable. Because of the high production costs of the DBCATA system, AAI opted for a new grenade launcher system for its third-generation SPIW prototype that costs less.