A grenade is one of the most lethal weapons than an infantry soldier can carry. But its explosive power is not without risk. A grenade can be hit with a bullet or shrapnel in a firefight and explode prematurely.
That’s exactly what happened two years ago along the Gaza border: A bullet struck a grenade in a soldier’s vest, causing it to detonate. Two soldiers in the Golani Brigade were killed.
“After that incident, we were ordered to develop a grenade that wouldn’t explode when hit by a bullet,” said Captain Ziv Berger, head of the light ammunition department in the IDF Ground Forces’ Technology Brigade. “Grenade shrapnel is one of the things that scares soldiers the most.”
In a joint venture, Israel Military Industries and the IDF came up with the solution: a new grenade that is bullet-proof, shrapnel-proof and even fire-proof.
The new grenade is almost identical to its predecessors. It weighs the same, costs the same, inflicts the same amount of damage and is operated in the exact same manner, eliminating the need for special training. But instead of exploding when struck, it breaks apart in two pieces.
In the weeks ahead, the new grenade will be in the hands of all IDF infantry units.