Indian Army obtain first batch of multi-mode hand grenades

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The first batch of indigenously-made Multi-Mode Hand Grenades (MMHG) was handed over to the Indian Army in the presence of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh in Nagpur on Tuesday.

The grenade has a distinctive design, in that it can be used in both offensive and defensive modes.

The grenades were manufactured by Economic Explosives Limited (EEL) following the Transfer of Technology from Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO).

Chairman of EEL S N Nuwal handed over a scale replica of MMHG to the Defence Minister to mark the first delivery of ammunition from the private sector.

Chief of the Army Staff General M M Naravane, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman DRDO Dr G Satheesh Reddy and Director General, Infantry Lt Gen A K Samantra were among those present on the occasion.

Singh termed the handing over of MMHG as a shining example of the increasing collaboration between the public and private sectors and a big step towards self-reliance in defence manufacturing.

“Today is a memorable day in the history of the 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 Narendra Modi,” he said.

He lauded DRDO and EEL for the speedy delivery of the order amidst Covid-19 restrictions and hoped for faster delivery of the next lot.

Singh listed out the measures undertaken by the Government to transform the defence sector into a self-reliant industry that can cater to the present and the future needs of the Armed Forces.

These include setting up of Defence Industrial Corridors in Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu; formulation of draft Defence Production and Export Promotion Policy (DPEPP) 2020; earmarking around 64 per cent of its modernisation funds under capital acquisition budget for 2021-22 for procurement from domestic companies; notifying two Positive Indigenisation Lists of over 200 defence items to promote self-reliance & defence exports; Corporatisation of Ordnance Factory Board (OFB); increasing FDI limit from 49 to 74 per cent under automatic route and beyond 74 per cent through government route and according to top priority to ‘Buy {Indian-IDDM (Indigenously Designed, Developed and Manufactured)}’ category for capital procurement.

Singh made special mention of another initiative taken by the Government – Technology Transfer to Industries by DRDO. Describing the measure as the backbone of the defence industry, he lauded DRDO for being an incubator that is undertaking free of cost transfer of technologies as well as providing access to testing facilities and over 450 patents. This has not only enabled the Industry to use ready-to-use technologies but has also saved time, energy and money, he said.

He also underlined the importance of Innovations for Defence Excellence (iDEX) saying that it aims to achieve self-reliance and foster innovation & technology development in the defence and aerospace sectors by engaging Industries including MSMEs, start-ups, individual innovators, R&D institutes and academia. Under this initiative, the problems being faced by the Armed Forces, Defence Public Sector Undertakings and OFB are identified and brought before entrepreneurs, MSMEs, start-ups and innovators through Defence India Startup Challenge (DISC) to find solutions.

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