The Indian Army received its first batch of 40,000 Multi-Mode Hand Grenades from Nagpur-based private company Economic Explosives Limited, which will replace the British-era vintage hand grenades.
In what could be termed as a boost for ‘Make in India’ in the defence sector, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh handed over the first batch of indigenous Multi-Mode Hand Grenades (MMHG) to the Indian Army in Nagpur on Tuesday.
The consignment is part of the army’s order for 10 lakh multi-mode grenades developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation and produced by Economic Explosives Ltd in Nagpur at a cost of over Rs 400 crore.
During the ceremony, the defence minister said, “These grenades have been manufactured by the private sector. I think this is a great example of a Public-Private Partnership in the defence sector. I am delighted that the production was approved in March 2021 and just within five months more than one lakh grenades have been manufactured even when the second wave of COVID-19 was going on and the entire system had come to a standstill.”
MMHGs are not just more lethal, but are safer to use. These hand grenades have been manufactured by Economic Explosives Limited (EEL) following the transfer of technology from Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).
“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,” a statement from Defence Ministry said.
Chairman of EEL SN Nuwal handed over a scale replica of MMHG to Rajnath Singh to mark the first delivery of ammunition from the private sector.
The EEL had signed a contract with the defense ministry on October 1 last year, to supply 10 lakh modern hand grenades for the Indian Army and the 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 statement said.
The first order has been delivered within five months.
Terming the delivery of MMHG as an example of increasing collaboration between the public and private sectors, Rajnath Singh said it is 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 ‘AatmaNirbhar Bharat’ as envisioned by our Prime Minister Narendra Modi,” he said.
The ceremony at Nagpur was also attended by army chief General Manoj Mukund Naravane, DRDO chief G Satheesh Reddy and DG Infantry Lt Gen A K Samantra.
The defence minister lauded DRDO & EEL for the speedy delivery of the order amidst Covid-19 restrictions.
While commending the industry for indigenously developing defence products, Rajnath Singh said, “Such products are not just being produced but exported on a large scale. The number of online export authorisations during 2016-19 was 1,210. It has increased to 1,774 in the last two years. This has resulted in defence exports of over 17,000 crore in the last two years.”