NAGPUR: Economic Explosives Ltd (EEL), a Nagpur-based private company, on Tuesday handed over the first batch of one lakh indigenously manufactured modern hand grenades to the Indian Army in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.

The consignment of multi-mode hand grenades (MMHG) was handed over to the Army at a function here, a defence release said.

This is the first instance of ammunition being manufactured by the private industry in India, the release said.

EEL, a wholly-owned subsidiary company of Solar Industries India Ltd, commenced deliveries of modern hand grenades to the armed forces last month.

The first consignment of 1 lakh MMHG had been tested satisfactorily for quality by users and delivered, the release said.

Singh was handed over a scale replica of MMHG by chairman of EEL S N Nuwal to mark the first delivery of ammunition from the private sector to the armed forces, it said.

Chief of Army Staff General MM Naravane, Chairman of DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy and Infantry DG Lt Gen AK Samantra were present on the occasion.

EEL had signed a contract with the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on October 1, 2020, to supply 10 lakh modern hand grenades for use by the Army and the Indian Air Force (IAF), the release said.

The deliveries would be spread over two years from the bulk production clearance (BPC) which was accorded to EEL in March 2021, it said.

“These new grenades will replace Grenade No 36 of World War I vintage design, which had been continuing in service till date. The MMHGs have a distinctive design giving flexibility of employment in both defensive (fragmentation) and offensive (stun) modes.”

“They have highly accurate delay time, very high reliability in usage and are safe for carriage. These modern grenades were designed by Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory of DRDO,” the release said.

EEL had taken the technology from DRDO in 2016.

Extensive trials of the grenades were successfully undertaken by the Indian Army and DGQA (Directorate General Of Quality Assurance) in 2017-18 in plains, deserts and high altitude over summer and winter, the release said.

Against a General Staff Qualitative Requirement (GSQR) of 95 per cent reliability, the grenades manufactured by EEL had highly superior reliability of 99.8 per cent, it added.

The success of the MMHG story is further amplified by its usage of 100 per cent indigenous content, the release added.