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PPP Model: 1st batch of multi-mode hand grenades handed over to Indian Army

The first batch of Multi-Mode Hand Grenades (MMHG), manufactured by Economic Explosives Ltd (EEL) on PPP model has been handed over to the Indian Army in the presence of Rajnath Singh
1st batch of multi-mode hand grenades handed over to Indian Army
1st batch of multi-mode hand grenades handed over to Indian Army

New Delhi/Nagpur: 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), has been handed over to the Indian Army in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Nagpur, Maharashtra on Tuesday.

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

Addressing the gathering, Singh termed the handing over of MMHG as a shining example of the increasing collaboration between the public and private sectors and a big step towards self-reliance in defence manufacturing. “Today is a memorable day in the history of the 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 ‘Aatma Nirbhar Bharat’ as envisioned by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.

The Minister listed out the measures undertaken by the government to transform the defence sector into a self-reliant industry that can cater to the present and 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 percent of its modernisation funds under capital acquisition budget for FY 2021-22 for procurement from domestic companies; notifying two positive indigenisation lists of over 200 defence items to promote self-reliance and defence exports; Corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB); increasing FDI limit from 49 to 74 per cent under automatic route and beyond 74 percent through government route and according to top priority to 'Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)}' category for capital procurement.

Singh made special mention of another initiative taken by the government, i.e., Technology Transfer to Industries by DRDO. Describing the measure as the backbone of the defence industry, he lauded DRDO for being an incubator that 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.

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 authorisations during 2016-17 to 2018-19 was 1,210. It has increased to 1,774 in the last two years. This has resulted in defence exports of over Rs 17,000 crore in the last two years,” he added.

Singh exuded confidence that soon India will manufacture defence products not just for domestic use, but for the whole world.

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The grenade is not just more lethal but is safer to use. It has a distinctive design that gives the flexibility of employment in both defensive (fragmentation) and offensive (stun) modes. It has a highly accurate delay time, very high reliability in usage and is safe for carriage. These new grenades will replace Grenade No 36 of world war-I vintage design, which had been continuing in service to date.

The EEL had signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence on October 01, 2020, to supply 10 lakh modern hand grenades for the 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 altitudes over summer & winter.

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