First batch of Multi-Mode Hand Grenades handed over to Indian Army

  • Grenade manufactured by Economic Explosives Limited following a Transfer of Technology from DRDO.
  • MMHG works in both offensive & defensive modes with high accuracy and reliability
  • Defence Minister who was present in the ocassion calls it as an important milestone in defence manufacturing and a big step towards ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’
  • Defence exports in last two years cross Rs 17,000 crore

 The first batch of Multi-Mode Hand Grenades (MMHG), manufactured by Economic Explosives Limited (EEL) following Transfer of Technology from Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), was handed over to the Indian Army in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Nagpur, Maharashtra on August 24, 2021.

S N Nuwal, Chairman of EEL handed over a scale replica of MMHG to the Defence Minister to mark the first delivery of ammunition from the private sector. Chief of the Army Staff General M M Naravane, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy and DG Infantry, Lt Gen A K Samantra were among those present on the occasion.

Addressing the gathering, Rajnath Singh termed the handing over of MMHG as a shining example of the increasing collaboration between the public & private sectors and a big step towards self-reliance in defence manufacturing. “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’ as envisioned by our Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi,” he said. The minister lauded DRDO & EEL for the speedy delivery of the order amidst COVID-19 restrictions and hoped of a faster delivery of the next lot.

         The minister listed out the measures undertaken by the Government to transform the defence sector into a self-reliant industry which can cater to the present and the future needs of the Armed Forces. These include setting up of Defence Industrial Corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu; formulation of draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP) 2020; earmarking around 64 per cent of its modernisation funds under capital acquisition budget for 2021-22 for procurement from domestic companies; notifying two Positive Indigenisation Lists of over 200 defence items to promote self-reliance & defence exports; Corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB); increasing FDI limit from 49 to 74 per cent under automatic route and beyond 74 per cent through government route and according top priority to ‘Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)}’ category for capital procurement.

Describing Technology Transfer to Industries by DRDO, the minister said that, DRDO being an incubator which is 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 has also saved time, energy and money, he said.

The minister also underlined the importance of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) saying that it aims to achieve self-reliance and foster innovation & technology development in defence and aerospace sectors by engaging Industries including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes and academia. Under this initiative, the problems being faced by the Armed Forces, Defence Public Sector Undertakings and OFB are identified and brought before entrepreneurs, MSMEs, start-ups and innovators through Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) to find solutions.

Rajnath Singh commended the Industry for indigenously developing products like ‘Multi-Mode Grenade’, ‘Arjun-Mark-1’ tank, ‘Unmanned Surface Vehicle’ and ‘See Through Armor’. “Such products are not just being produced but exported on a large scale. The number of online export authorizations during 2016-17 to 2018-19 was 1,210. It has increased to 1,774 in last two years. This has resulted in defence exports of over Rs 17,000 crore in the last two years,” he added.

The grenade is not just more lethal, but is safer to use. It has 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. These new grenades will replace Grenade No 36 of World War I vintage design, which had been continuing in service till date.

 The EEL had signed a contract with Ministry of Defence on October 01, 2020 to supply 10 lakh modern hand grenades for Indian Army and Indian Air Force. The deliveries would be spread over two years from the bulk production clearance, which was accorded to EEL in March 2021. The first order has been delivered within five months.

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

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