In two major feats achieved by the Indian defence sector today, the defence ministry placed an order of INR 409 crore for the purchase of multi-mode hand grenades and also saw another successful test firing of cannon launched anti-tank guided missile, a major step towards the ambitious indigenization process.
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This was the second test launch of a cannon-launched anti-tank guided missile within 10 days, the first being the one carried out on September 22nd.
The missile was test-fired from Arjun tank, India’s indigenously-developed main battle tank which had earlier failed to fire the previously-chosen LAHAT anti-tank guided missile satisfactorily six years ago.
This was reportedly the only major hurdle in the acceptance of Arjun Mk-2 tanks in the Indian Army, and DRDO pledged to develop their own version of a laser-guided cannon-launched anti-tank guided missile.
The new missile was tested in the KK ranges (ACC&S) Ahmednagar. With the successful trials of the new DRDO-developed missile, the Indian Army could now rely on its Arjun tanks’ 120mm rifled cannon to reliably fire such missiles giving it a big boost in capability, and subsequently, order more Arjun Mk-2 tanks.
Stating the missile’s specifications, the press release said “The ATGM employs a tandem HEAT warhead to defeat Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA) protected armoured vehicles in ranges from 1.5 to 5 km. It has been developed with multiple-platform launch capability and is currently undergoing technical evaluation trials from 120 mm rifled gun of MBT Arjun”.
As for the new 409-crore contract for the grenades, a deal for 1,000,000 “multi-mode hand grenades” was signed with Economic Explosive Ltd (EEL), (Solar Group) Nagpur. These grenades have a dual-mode capability and offer greater combat effectiveness than the earlier world-war-2 era grenades used by the Indian Army.
As claimed by the company, the grenade’s dual functionality is achieved by the addition of a fragments sleeve to the main body. This addition of fragment sleeve enhances the grenade’s anti-personnel capability, increasing the original 5-meter lethal radius to 10 metres. This is called the “defensive mode” of the grenade.
When used in the offensive mode, the grenade is used without its Fragmenting Sleeve and is used for ‘Low-Intensity Conflict’ as it offers stunning effect only. This mode is used while the soldier is in attacking mode. Lethal radius is achieved up to 5m from the point of burst.
“This is a flagship project showcasing public-private partnership under the aegis of Government of India (DRDO & MoD) enabling ‘AtmaNirbharta’ in cutting edge ammunition technologies and accomplishes 100% Indigenous Content,” mentioned the MoD press release.