Indian Army gets first batch of indigenously developed multi-mode hand grenades

Published : August 25, 2021 17:38 IST

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh being handed over the scale replica of a Multi-Mode hand grenade, by Chief of the Army Staff General M. M. Naravane, in Nagpur on August 24, 2021. Photo: PTI

After decades of making do with First World War vintage hand grenades, the Indian Army on August 24 received the first batch of the indigenously designed-and-manufactured multi-mode hand grenades (MMHG), in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh at a ceremony in Nagpur.

Manufactured by Economic Explosives Limited (EEL) following a transfer of technology from the Defence Research & Development Organisation’s (DRDO) Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory, the MMHG will replace ‘grenade no. 36’ that the Army’s frontline fighting units use. The handing over of a scale replica of the MMHG to the Defence Minister also marked the first delivery of ammunition to the armed forces from an Indian private sector entity.

Addressing the gathering, Rajnath Singh termed the handing over of the MMHG as a shining example of the increasing collaboration between the public and private sectors and a big step towards self-reliance in defence manufacturing. Said Rajnath Singh: “Today is a memorable day in the history of Indian defence sector. Our private industry is coming of age when it comes to defence production. It is an important milestone not only in the field of defence manufacturing, but also in achieving ‘Aatmanirbhar Bharat’.”

In October 2020, the EEL had signed a contract with the Defence Ministry to supply 10 lakh modern hand grenades for the Indian Army and the Indian Air Force. It received clearance for bulk production in March 2021. The EEL will deliver the MMHGs over the next two years — the first order has been delivered in under five months.

MMHGs are not just more lethal, but safer to use as well. Said a statement from the Defence Ministry: “MMHGs have a distinctive design that gives flexibility of employment in both defensive (fragmentation) and offensive (stun) modes. It has a highly accurate delay time, very high reliability in usage and safe for carriage.”

The EEL had taken the technology from the DRDO in 2016 and absorbed it successfully, while maintaining very high quality in detonics. In 2017-18, the Indian Army and the Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) successfully conducted extensive trials in plains, deserts and high altitudes over the summer and winter.

Rajnath Singh lauded the DRDO for being an incubator undertaking free-of-cost transfer of technologies, as well as providing access to testing facilities and over 450 patents. This has not only enabled the industry to use ready-to-use technologies but also saved time, energy and money, he added.

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