The defence services will soon be equipped with slimmer, lighter, safer and modulated grenades, which don’t explode before time.
Deciding to gradually phase out the existing M-36 hand grenades, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) recently placed an order for 10 lakh newly-developed hand grenades for the Ordnance factory board. Developed by the Terminal Ballistic Research Lab of DRDO in Chandigarh, the multimode hand grenades would be replacing the archaic ones of the World War II vintage.
According to scientists, the advantage of these hand explosives would be that unlike the existing ones, which can accidentally explode without even the safety pin being removed, these have detachable parts and cannot go off on their own.
“The new design will overcome the safety defect in existing explosives, which explode much before time. Unlike the older version, this weapon can also be airdropped with precision,” said Dr Satish Kumar, director of TBRL.
The missile, which has been tested in temperatures ranging between minus 20 degree Celsius and 55 degree Celsius during trials conducted at Kargil and Tangdhar and in hot dry conditions of Pokhran in Rajasthan, have been now approved for largescale manufacture. “Its modular and lightweight design translates into better operational preparedness as the soldier can carry more of these, use them according to combat conditions and airdrop them precisely on the enemy,” Dr Kumar pointed out.
Another significant aspect of this new product is that the time delay for the explosion — time taken to go off after the pin is pulled out to activate —, is a mere three seconds. “The time factor has seldom been this precise in earlier designs, and led to explosions occurring much before time, resulting in casualities. The multimode overcomes this limitation,” the director added.
“We are half-way to coming up with another version which has an electronic fuse and is lighter,” he said.
A similar model of grenades for paramilitary forces is also in the pipeline.