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In a major 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 at a ceremony held in Nagpur.
Chief of the Army Staff General M M Naravane, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy and DG Infantry Lt Gen A K Samantra were among those present on the occasion.
Notably, the first batch of Multi-Mode Hand Grenades (MMHG) has been manufactured by Economic Explosives Limited (EEL), a private sector firm, following Transfer of Technology from Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).
Chairman of EEL Shri S N Nuwal handed over a scale replica of MMHG to Rajnath Singh marking the first delivery of ammunition from the private sector.
The ministry had signed a contract with EEL on 1 October 2020 to supply 10 lakh modern hand grenades for Indian Army and Indian Air Force. These will replace a World War I vintage hand grenade design being used by the army.
"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 safe for carriage. These new grenades will replace Grenade No 36 of World War I vintage design, which had been continuing in service till date," said the official ministry statement.
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.
Addressing the gathering, Rajnath Singh said, “Today is a memorable day in the history of 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 Shri Narendra Modi."
He also praised DRDO and EEL for the speedy delivery of the order amidst COVID-19 restrictions and hoped of a faster delivery of the next lot.