Nagpur: Even as Economic Explosives Limited (EEL), a company from the city, became the first private entity to get a bulk contract to make hand grenades, the ordnance factory is awaiting a reply to its multiple reminders to the Army to place an order for its product too.

Both, Ordnance Factory Khamaria (OFK), at Jabalpur, and Nagpur’s EEL, had got the technology from
DRDO to make the latest multimodal hand grenades for the army. Even as EEL has got an order, the ordnance factory has been sending letters after letters to the Army. There has been no reply yet, said reliable sources.

Both EEL and OFK cleared the trials for their respective grenades. However, the Army also wants both to prove that their grenades have a shelf life of 15 years. EEL has come up with a report ascertaining a 15-year shelf life.

The company has used the isothermal micro calorimetry method, which it says is in line with NATO norms. EEL is the first to have introduced this method. Under this the shelf life can be ascertained in 4 months.

The OFK on the other hand uses the intensive shelf life assessment method, which it says is the only approved method by the Directorate General of Quality Assurance (DGQA) of Army. The ordnance factory method takes two years. Under this system the grenades are kept in containers under various conditions to assess the shelf life.

As it may take two years to get a final report, ordnance factory has been insisting that the Army can begin with taking the initial batches in the meantime. The factory has also agreed to replace the grenades if the shelf life of 15 years is not proven, said a source aware of the developments. However, there has been no response yet.

EEL has got the contract through negotiation method and the ordnance factory will be getting the orders through the direct indenting system.

The design has been made by Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL), that comes under DRDO. The multimodal grenades will be replacing the M36 grenades of World War II make used by the Army at present.

Getting the grenade order also makes EEL the first private company to have bagged a contract for any complete ammunition system. EEL is a wholly owned subsidiary of Solar Industries, a listed company based in Nagpur.