1/3 of Indian hand grenades are duds

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1/3 of Indian hand grenades are duds

Thats beyond useless, when 1 in 3 of the hand grenades are duds, soldiers lives are at risk. Especially when grenades are mostly used as last defense and close fighting.

A recent official survey of weaponry being used by soldiers guarding Indian borders reveals that about 30% of hand-grenades used by soldiers don't explode — which means an alarming one in three is a dud. The survey, carried out by weapons experts from the Army and defense organizations, is based on interviews with soldiers posted in border areas.

Preliminary investigations have shown that it's not unusual for detonators used in the grenades to surpass their shelf life by the time they reach the hands of a soldier in a conflict zone.

"Soldiers said the grenades often go blind — meaning they don't explode in purely technical terms — putting them in a precarious situation," said a source. Defence experts and ex-servicemen say this is an old problem that has never been properly addressed.

Col (retd) RSN Singh of 'India Defence Review' says the figure of 30% duds is stupefying. Singh, who retired from the Infantry six months ago, says, ‘‘A soldier normally carries four grenades in a counter-insurgency operation. Even a single dud can prove disastrous as it would leave the soldier vulnerable. Such duds can shake a soldier’s confidence.’’

Defence expert Col (retd) U S Rathore says India still uses World War-II vintage hand grenades. He says there are chances that the detonators are susceptible to chemical degradation and adds that terrorists have far superior Belgian grenades that explode in 2.5 seconds compared to the four seconds it takes for the Indian grenades.

India may have made an indigenous nuclear submarine. But it appears its defence establishment is yet to make a fail-proof grenade. Incidentally, a grenade can be propelled through rifles or an under-barrel grenade launcher (UBGL). But the Insas rifles used by the army don’t have launchers for grenades; soldiers have to carry the old 7.62mm rifles for that.

By netchicken: posted on 7-9-2009

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