New Delhi: In a first for India, a domestic company today bagged a $56 million order to supply indigenously made hand grenades to the army, a major bid to go self-reliant and self-sufficient in this area of arms production.
The Ministry of Defence‘s Acquisition Wing signed the Rs 409-crore ($55.64 million) contract with Nagpur-based Economic Explosive Limited, a Solar Group company, to supply one million Multi-Mode Hand Grenades to the Indian Army.
“These grenades will be replacing the hand grenade desing of World War-II vintage, in use in with the Indian Army,” a defence ministry statement said.
The Multi-Mode Hand Grenade has been designed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) at its Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratories (TBRL) in Chandigarh, and is being produced by the Nagpur-based private sector company.
“The grenades have a distinctive design, in that, they can be used in both offensive and defensive modes. This is a flagship project showcasing public-private partnership under the aegis of the Government of India (DRDO & MoD) enabling ‘Atmanirbharta‘ in cutting edge ammunition technologies and accomplishes 100 per cent Indigenous Content.”
The deliveries of Multi-Mode Hand Grenades under this capital procurement contract would be spread over two years, a statement from the company said.
“The Multi-Modi Hand Grenade have highly accurate delay time, very high reliability in usage and are safe for carriage. Economic Explosives Limited had taken the technology in 2016, absorbed it successfully, while maintaining very high quality in detonics,” Solar Group Chairman and Executive Director Satyanarayan Nuwal said.
“Extensive trials were successfully undertaken by the Indian Army and Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) in 2017-18 in plains, deserts and high altitude over summer and winter,” he said.
“The hand grenades project showcases how private-public partnership can deliver results very successfully for the vital defence sector in just a few years. It is for the first time in India that a privately owned company would be getting to supply an order for complete ammunition,” Nuwal said.
“Over the last decade EEL has created a niche for itself in the field of emerging technologies for modern munitions, adapting these for production, setting up specialised manufacturing plants and successfully adapting many indigenous designs for an initial product line-up of about 20 munitions for our (India’s) armed forces and for exports,” he added.
Solar Group has set up modern and large manufacturing facilities for ammunition and high energy materials in the private sector, spread over an area of over 2,000 acres in Nagpur district of Maharashtra, which includes testing zones.