Rheinmetall Denel Munition (RDM) is in the process of producing a new range of hand grenades, and is due to ship thousands to customers later this year.
RDM’s Lunga Kalashe said the M15 hand grenade comes in three variants: M1512 Defensive (optimised for fragmentation for anti-personnel use), M1513 Offensive (optimised for concussion effects in enclosed areas) and M1514 Practice.
The new M15 range is designed to be safer than previous generations of grenades and more reliable in operation.
Fragmentation tests have been successfully conducted and RDM is in the process of finalising industrialisation ahead of production. RDM has orders from the Middle East that will commence with deliveries in December 2017.
RDM CEO Norbert Schulze said the design of most grenades dates back to the Second World War, but the world is advancing and customers want lighter, more effective and versatile grenades, for both military and police applications. The police specifically want CS gas and flashbang/stun grenades.
RDM already manufactures a variety of lethal and less lethal hand grenades, including screening smoke, high explosive fragmentation, illuminating and coloured smoke (red, green, yellow and blue). Its less lethal range includes Thunder Flashes, Stun and CS grenades.
RDM also manufactures 40 mm grenades for grenade launchers and has developed 40 mm Medium Velocity grenades with a range of 800 metres (double the previous range) and is in negotiations for the export of significant quantities of these grenades.
The company is in the process of developing 40 mm MV airburst ammunition, and should complete this process shortly. Schulze said this would be a very useful type of ammunition as it is especially useful in asymmetric warfare and can be used to counter rocket propelled grenade threats at platoon level.
By the end of this year RDM hopes to secure a big contract for Medium Velocity and other 40 mm grenades from the Middle East. Securing this R500 million contract would be “a major achievement,” Schulze said.