CHANDIGARH: To avoid premature explosion of a mortar round, the Chandigarh-based Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL) has developed electronic fuse for 81mm mortar bombs. The fuse used at present can detonate due to heat or friction in the atmosphere. A mortar is a weapon that fires explosive projectiles (mortar bombs) at low velocities and short ranges.

On Friday, the technology was transferred to a Nagpur-based company. Once the industry starts manufacturing them, it shall be inducted in the Indian Army. "The existing bomb 81mm mortar uses chemical-based pyro fuse which are sensitive to heat, friction and shock. We have replaced this fuse with electronic fuse with safety features which do not exist in the conventional fuses," said Manoj Atwal, scientists and spokesperson of TBRL, a Defence Research and Development Organisation laboratory.

The conventional fuse detonates after it falls due to the impact. "This can be dangerous for the troops in case it explodes before the launch due to the heat, shockwaves due to explosion or friction. The fourth generation fuse developed is power operated and it will get activated only when its launched in the air. There is a timer that allows it to become active after 5 seconds of launch in the air," said Atwal.

In the new fuse, air driven turbo generator is used as a power source. On launch, this turbo generates power that is used for powering the fuse. Turbo generator has to operate continuously for minimum 5 seconds to activate the fuse. The fuse is designed with inbuilt delay to ensure safe separation of ammunition from the launch point. This ensures safety of the firing crew. "The industry shall provide these fuses as and when required by the Indian Army," said Atwal.

The transfer of technology agreement was signed by DRDO chairman G Satheesh Reddy. He said, " There is a need to lead the technologies and not be the follower of technologies."