Pune: The Indian Army’s battle tanks and Infantry Fighting Vehicles (BMPs) will soon be equipped with advanced 81mm smoke grenades to ‘confuse’ the enemy forces on the battlefield reports TOI.
The grenade emits a thick layer of smoke to obscure the enemy’s tank for at least for 40 seconds — sufficient time to get into a strategic position to counter adversaries. It has been developed by the city-based High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL) of the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).
The army has carried out extensive testing to verify its efficacy in different terrains and temperatures. It has been tested at temperatures of over 45 degrees Celsius in deserts and -15 degrees Celsius in northern border areas.
“The grenade has met all operational requirements of the army during various trials,” KPS Murthy, director, HEMRL, told TOI.
The technology of the grenade has been transferred to the Ordnance Factory Dehu Road and a private company in Nagpur for mass manufacturing of the product, added the scientist.
“The existing grenades have limitations. The enemy’s tanks and BMPs are equipped with anti-thermal and anti-laser systems can now spot the Indian tanks and Infantry Fighting Vehicles easily. The newly-developed grenades have the capability to defeat the anti-thermal and anti-laser systems. This is a big advantage for the force for operational purposes,” said another official from the DRDO.
The factory and the firm had delivered the first consignment of grenades, which were extensively tested by the army. “The army is satisfied with the results. Now, the grenades will be manufactured in larger quantities,” added the official.
The foreign countries’ tanks and IFVs are equipped with this kind of grenades. It has export potential, but no foreign country has evinced interest in it so far, the sources said.
A senior army officer from the Armoured Corps told TOI, “The existing smoke grenade discharger is not effective. Its limitations have surfaced time and again during internal exercises. A tank can fire 12 grenades in a salvo.”
The Indian Army has main battle tanks- Arjun, T-90s Bhishma and T- 72 Ajeya and the mechanised infantry has BMP-II (Sarath).

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