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Grenades employed from atacking personnel, clearing bunkers, to piercing tanks

A modern hand grenade generally consists of an explosive charge (“filler”), a detonator mechanism, an internal striker to trigger the detonator, and a safety lever secured by a linchpin.


The grenades most commonly used in wartime are explosive grenades, which usually consist of a core of TNT or some other high explosive encased in an iron jacket or container. Such grenades have a fuse that detonates the explosive either on impact or after a brief (usually four-second) time delay that is long enough for the grenade to be accurately thrown but is too brief for enemy soldiers to toss the grenade back once it has landed among them.


A common type of explosive grenade is the fragmentation grenade, whose iron body, or case, is designed to break into small, lethal, fast-moving fragments once the TNT core explodes. Such grenades usually weigh no more than 2 pounds (0.9 kg). Explosive hand grenades are used for attacking the personnel in foxholes, trenches, bunkers, pillboxes, or other fortified positions and in street fighting.


The peculiar pineapple-like look was given because the outside segments and grooves aid the fragmentation of the casing. In the further improved designs, the grooves and segments were put from the inside and pineapple like outer structure was also retained for better grip.


Another major class is chemical and gas grenades, which usually burn rather than explode. This class comprises smoke, incendiary (fire-setting), illuminating, chemical-warfare, and tear-gas grenades. The latter are used by police for riot and crowd control. Several uses may be combined, as in a white phosphorous grenade that has smoke, incendiary, and antipersonnel effects.


World War II saw both fragmentation grenades, which explode shrapnel into people, and concussion grenades, which kill through powerful shock waves and are designed for clearing bunkers.


Grenades can be launched from the muzzle of a rifle either by the force of a cartridge or by the expanding gases of a blank cartridge. Such grenades usually have long, streamlined bodies, in contrast to the round shapes of hand grenades. There are also small-arm grenade rounds, shaped like bullets but of much greater diameter (usually 40 mm). These contain their own low-energy propellant charges and are shot from special large-bore launchers similar to shotguns or from launchers attached to infantry assault rifles.


Another type of grenade is the antitank grenade, which contains a special shaped-charge explosive that can pierce even the heavy armour of a tank. Since these are usually delivered by small rockets launched from shoulder-held tubes, they are commonly referred to as rocket-propelled grenades.


US Army’s Enhanced Tactical Multi-Purpose (ET-MP) grenade

US Army’s  Enhanced Tactical Multi-Purpose (ET-MP) grenade alows soldiers set the grenade to fragmentation or concussive effect with the flip of a switch. The weapon is also designed for ambidextrous use so it can be both armed and thrown easily with either hand. Current grenades require a different arming procedure for left-handed users, according to the Army. Army’s current M67 grenade was designed for right-handed soldiers, so left-handed troops are trained to flip the grenade upside and hold the safety lever down with their left thumb, while pulling out the ring with the opposite hand.


The Army is also touting the new grenade’s ability to provide both fragmentation and blast overpressure more effectively and safely. Blast overpressure refers to the impact of the grenade’s shock wave on body surfaces. Defense expert Peter Quentin, a research fellow at the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) in London, sees the ET-MP as an important addition to the Army’s arsenal. “What’s quite interesting is the objective they are trying to achieve with this, which is a discretionary weapons system,” he told “This is important because it is all about minimizing collateral damage and civilian casualties, ensuring the appropriate effect is easily achieved and simple concussion/fragmentation selection makes it more likely to employ appropriate force.”


The weapon will give more flexibility to troops. “They are currently carrying one M67 grenade that provides lethal fragmentation effects,” said Jessica Perciballi, ARDEC Project Officer for ET-MP, U.S. Army, Grenades & Demolitions Division, in the statement. “With the new multi-purpose grenade, they can carry one ET-MP grenade and have the ability to choose either fragmentation or concussive effects desired for the situation.”


India’s Multi-Mode Hand Grenade

“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,” says the official page of the DRDO’s facility Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory (TBRL) which has developed the MMHG.


The MMHG can be used in two different structures resulting in two different modes — defensive and offensive. The grenades being used by the forces in India till now have been mainly the defensive mode grenades, which means that they are to be hurled when the thrower is in a shelter or has a cover and the target is in an open area and can be harmed by fragmentation. On the other hand, the offensive grenades do not fragment, and the adversary is harmed by the blast or is stunned while the thrower is safe.


For the MMHG’s defensive mode, the grenade has a fragamenting sleeve and a lethal radius of 10 metres. In the offensive mode, the grenade is without a sleeve and mainly used for blast and stun effect. In the offensive, it has a lethal radius of 5 meters from point of burst.


The Acquisition Wing of the MoD on Thursday signed  with Economic Explosive Ltd — EEL  in Oct 2020, a subsidiary of Nagpur-headquartered Solar Group — for the supply of 10 lakh MMHG to the Indian Army at an approximate cost of Rs 409 crore. For conducting field tests of the grenade, the DRDO had transferred the technology to the company four years ago. The grenade has been tested in various types of conditions and is said to have achieved 99 per cent safety and reliability.


The MoD press statement in this regard said, “This is a flagship project showcasing public-private partnership under the aegis of Government of India (DRDO and MoD) enabling ‘AtmaNirbharta’ in cutting edge ammunition technologies and accomplishes 100 per cent indigenous content.”


According to the company website, the product has a shelf life of 15 years from the date of manufacturing if stored under normal circumstances. The website also states that the product has twin delay tubes for additional safety and 3800 uniform fragments for higher lethality.


US Marines are testing tiny drones that can work as grenades

The US Marines  conducted  training exercise with the Drone40 at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina. The miniaturized, low-cost, expendable drone can be deployed by hand or launched from a 40 mm grenade launcher.


The device provides soldiers with a way to lob explosives to targets that would typically be out of reach or to leave the grenades hovering in the air like a sort of aerial landmine. This is the first time U.S. troops have been seen training with the versatile, potentially game-changing unmanned systems. The drones can carry a wide variety of payloads, including various sensors or small high-explosive warheads.


Its payload can be swapped easily in the field, and the drone could fly out on a separate mission with an intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) payload capable of streaming full-motion videos. Apart from the ISR, the drone can carry a kinetic payload, function as a smoke or flash grenade, and even carry a laser designator.


According to the specifications, the Drone40 can stay in the air for 30-60 minutes, travel at speeds up to 45 mph (72 km/h), and travel up to 12 miles (19 km) away before detonating. Weighing at around 190 grams, the military drone has a maximum take-off weight of 300 grams. The Drone40 features a GPS-based autopilot system with a portable ground control station communicating over an encrypted radio data link. The drone can hit the target and detonate or simply return back to the base, whether it can be caught using a tether and reused for a future mission.


The drone can simply be launched by hand when required but can also be repurposed as a multiple round simultaneous impact (MRSI) munition when launched through a 40 mm grenade launcher. The drones’ manufacturer even claims that it uses mass manufactured printed circuit boards to make its low-cost and recoverable nano-unmanned aerial system.


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