Pune: The Indian Army’s tanks and infantry fighting vehicles (BMPs) will soon be equipped with advanced smoke grenades to confound enemy forces. 

The anti-thermal and anti-laser grenades will create a short-duration smoke screen to prevent detection in battle by the hostile battle tanks and infantry fighting vehicles.

“The grenade generates thick smoke, completely blinding the enemy party. Even thermal imager and laser rangefinders on enemy vehicles would not be able to detect our tanks,” a senior scientist with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) said.

At the moment, the Indian tanks and BMPs are equipped with the 3D6 smoke grenade, which is effective only in the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum. “This can pose problems in a tank-to-tank battle,” a scientist said.

DRDO’s Pune-based laboratory, High Energy Materials Research Laboratory, developed the new grenade in 2014 as an alternative to the Russian projectiles. Several trials were since carried out by scientists and army authorities at the K K Range in Ahmednagar.

“The army has sanctioned the newly-developed smoke grenade last year. We have recently signed a transfer of technology agreement with the Ordnance Factory, Dehu Road, as well as a Nagpur-based private firm for mass production,” K P S Murthy, HEMRL director, said.

“Manoeuvring tanks effectively is crucial during a battle. An advanced smoke grenade is key to changing the position of a tank, particularly during a battle,” a senior armoured corps officer said.