Innovative hand grenade from the UK defeats combat body armor

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Innovative hand grenade from the UK defeats combat body armor

British company Numerica has patented a concept for a directional hand grenade that can defeat titanium-faced aramid combat body armor (as defined in NATO Standard Agreement STANAG 4512) at a distance of 5m and is potentially lethal over much greater ranges. Royal Ordance adopted this approach for the Next Generation Hand Grenade (NGHG) that it bid to meet the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) requirement for a weapon to replace the L2A2 (equivalent to the US M26).

The MoD selected a conventional design, but Numerica continues to promote its concept for other applications. The weapon could also be muzzle-launched or fired from an underslung grenade launcher.

The cylindrical hand-thrown device incorporates a righting mechanism, controlled by a two-stage fuze, and an axi-symmetrical warhead. This generates a belt of fragments, measuring 2m high at a distance of 5m, compared with the approximately spherical distribution from a conventional design.

According to Numerica, a traditional grenade producing 1,000 fragments will achieve an average of 1.2 hits on a person-sized target at a range of 5m, with 30% of targets receiving no hits. The company says that its approach results in 5.9 hits under the same conditions, with only 0.25% of targets being missed completely.

This allows the grenade to achieve the desired effect with fewer fragments, each of which can be accorded a greater probability of incapacitation - either by simply making them larger, or by adopting a material of higher density (such as tungsten).

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