EEL signed the contract with MoD to phase out the current WW-II era No 36 grenades. The company has to supply the grenades in two years

Economic Explosive Ltd (EEL), Solar Group Nagpur signed a contract with Ministry of Defence (MoD) to supply 10,00,000 multi-mode hand grenades (MMHG) to the Indian Army at the cost of Rs 409 crore on Thursday. In a first for the private sector in India, the Defence Ministry has placed this order to replace a vintage design in service with the forces, marking a major change from the past where similar products were either imported or made by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

The costing of the grenades is also lesser than comparative production costs by OFB. A Defence Ministry release stated that the grenades have a distinctive design and can be used in both offensive and defensive modes. The contract was signed by the Acquisition Wing of Defence Ministry. The contract for supply of the modern hand grenades, to be spread over a period of two years. The MMHG has been designed by DRDO’s Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratories (TBRL) and is being produced by EEL in Nagpur. These new grenades will be supplied to the Army and Air Force to replace Grenade No 36 which is a World War II vintage design.

The MMGH can be used in fragmentation and stun modes and has a proven accurate delay time and high usage reliability. According to MOD, “It is a flagship project showcasing public-private partnership under the aegis of Government of India (DRDO and MoD) enabling self-reliance in ‘cutting-edge ammunition technologies and accomplishes 100 per cent indigenous content’.

There is a significant domestic demand for the MMHG, with India looking at becoming an export destination, the order could open up the international market for EEL as well. EEL is part of the Solar Group, which has set up a 2,000 acre facility for manufacturing ammunition and high energy materials in Nagpur which is the biggest such project undertaken by the private sector.