The DRDO is developing the latest version of the rifle-launched grenade with many advanced capabilities and safety features than the current version of grenade launchers. The grenade, which is of 40 mm caliber, can be launched from an “under-barrel launcher” (UBL), a dedicated hand-held weapon in front of a standard-issue rifle or multiple grenade launcher (MGL). To fire grenades from a cylindrical magazine are almost like to that in a regular revolver.
According to sources, DRDO has invited private industry to participate in its development and manufacturing. The project comes against the government’s background to identify eight types of ammunition for manufacture by the private sector, including 40 mm grenades. According to reports, the army has an annual requirement of about three lakh 40 mm grenades.
The grenade is being developed by the Ordnance Research and Development Establishment. Currently, the military is using two-caliber weapon-launched grenades. 30 mm, which is fired from a heavy, tripod-mounted automatic grenade launcher, and a 40 mm version that is fired from a UBL or MGL. Two types of UBLs — one designed by DRDO — are integrated with the rifle’s firing mechanism and a Russian version, which has its trigger – in use.
Recently, the Chandigarh-based Terminal Ballistic Research Laboratory of DRDO developed advanced fuses for a variety of service ordnance and warheads that claim to increase lethargy, safety, and reliability. A few years ago, it also developed a hand-handled grenade.
Grenades launched from a weapon give soldiers a much larger advantage in terms of increasing their firepower, reach and accuracy than hand grenades. With weapons-launched grenades, targets such as soldiers, enemy outposts, and bunkers, vehicles, and buildings can be mounted up to 400 meters.
The annual requirement of the army: 3 lakhs
A 40 mm grenade can be launched from a barrel under-barrel launcher with a rifle or a multiple grenade launcher.
The army requires about 3 lakh 40 mm grenades annually.
Source: Tribune India