MILMAG Defence & Space 02/2020 »

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Rheinmetall's grenades for ACR

Czech Army is to be equipped with two types of modern hand grenades. The tender to supply the SplHGr 85 and OffHGr 85 grenades was won by Česká Zbrojovka a.s., a local company that put forward the best price bid. New grenades will replace obsolete URG 86 and F1. The agreement is worth 200 mln CZK (9,4 mln USD). Same grenades were recently purchased by Polish GROM special forces unit.

Rheinmetall and CZ has been closely cooperating for the last 10 years. The main reason was the CZ 805 G1 underbarrel grenade launchers development, and lack of the local production of 40x46 mm SR ammunition. The solution for this problem was cooperation with Rheinmetall. /Photos: Česká Zbrojovka

Fragmentation SplHGr 85 and concussion OffHGr 85 hand grenades are manufactured by Rheinmetall Waffe Munition, CZ is planning to transfer the grenade production to the Czech Republic, among others, also in case of mobilization and state crises. For the hand grenade project, we expect to cooperate with Explosia a.s. - local explosives manufacturer. Currently, the Czech Republic army uses universal hand grenades vz. 86 (URG 86) and the rest of F1 defence hand grenades, both of which are now obsolete. In the case of the URG 86 grenades, problems with quality have been detected in some batches produced by the Slovak company VOP Nováky and their use in the Slovak army has been suspended.

Recently, the Army has turned down the concept of a combined grenade with an option to modify the initiation after impact or with a delay element as seen in the URG 86. The new grenades will be equipped with a time delayer that initiates the grenade within 4-5 seconds. They are also smaller and lighter, thereby increasing the comfort for the soldier when wearing body armour, or allowing the soldier to carry more grenades.

The weight decrease is really quite significant, as the URG 86 weighs approx. 430 grams and the F1 grenade 600 grams. Regarding the new grenades, the fragmentation SplHGr 85 weighs about 340 grams and the concussion OffHGr 85 only about 180 grams. In addition, despite the decrease in weight, the pressure wave achieved is large and effective, and in the fragmentation grenade, the number of fragments has increased from about 1,200 to about 3,500. The army was lacking the concussion grenades in particular, for use in built-up areas, for penetration into buildings and special buildings. The supply of grenades will also include school and training variants, as well as training and other user documentation.

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