New Delhi, Oct 1
In a much-needed boost to the ‘Make In India’ initiative in the defence sector, the Ministry of Defence today signed an agreement with Economics Explosive Ltd. (EEL), a division of Nagpur-based Solar Group, to supply 10 lakh modern hand grenades for the Indian Army. The deliveries of multi-mode hand grenades (MMHG) would be spread over two years and the total value of the capital contract is Rs 409 crores.
These new grenades will replace the hand grenade design of World War II vintage in use with the Indian Army. The multi-mode hand grenade (MMHG) has been designed by DRDO’s Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratories. This is a government’s flagship project showcasing public private partnership under the aegis of DRDO and MoD enabling ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ in cutting edge ammunition technologies and accomplishes 100 per cent indigenous content.
According to Solar Group Chairman and Executive Director Satyanarayan Nuwal: “The MMGH have highly accurate delay time, very high reliability in usage and are safe for carriage. Economic Explosives Ltd. had taken the technology in 2016, absorbed it successfully, while maintaining very high quality in detonics. Extensive trials were successfully undertaken by the Indian Army and DGQA in 2017-18 in plains, deserts and high altitude over summer and winter.”
“The MMHG case showcases how private-public partnership can deliver results very successfully for the vital defence sector in just a few years. It is for the first time in India that a privately owned company would be getting to supply an order for complete ammunition. Over the last decade EEL has created a niche for itself in the field of emerging technologies for modern munitions, adapting these for production, setting up specialized manufacturing plants and successfully adapting many indigenous designs for an initial product line-up of about 20 munitions for our Armed Forces and for exports,” Mr Nuwal added.
This flagship project marks the coming of age of the hard work put in by the Solar Group in setting up the most modern and the country’s largest manufacturing facilities for ammunition and high energy materials in the private sector, spread over an area of over 2000 acres in Nagpur District of Maharashtra, which includes testing zones.
Grenades of natural fragmentation type have been in use by the infantry world over for a long time. Indian Army still uses the 36M, a grenade which also has severe reliability problems and uneven fragmenting pattern making it unsafe even to the thrower. The multi-mode grenade has been developed to overcome these defects. It uses preformed cylindrical mild steel pre-fragments to achieve uniform distribution.