Defense Media Network

U.S. Seeks Improved Fragmentation Hand Grenade

The U.S. Naval Surface Warfare Division, Crane, Ind., is seeking information on designs for an improved fragmentation hand grenade that could eventually replace the current M67 hand grenade design.

A recently-released request for information (RFI) identified government interest in a new grenade “desired to be at least 15 percent improvement in total effectiveness over the current M67 fragmentation grenade” but with general form/fit/and function remaining “essentially the same” as the current design.

The announcement identifies a number of key performance parameters (KPPs) for the new grenade, identified at both threshold and objective levels.

In terms of grenade size, for example, the improved fragmentation hand grenade threshold level is a maximum 2.75 inches in diameter, with an objective size of 2.5 inches in diameter, the same diameter as the current M67. Likewise, the weight (mass) of the new grenade targets a threshold of 18 ounces (with fuze) and an objective of 15.6 ounces (with fuze), the same as the M67.

Both threshold and objective fuze designs will use an already approved fuze with three to five second delay.

In terms of fragmentation pattern KPP, the RFI notes that the threshold evaluation “will be conducted over a 360 degree arc around a ground detonated grenade.  Fragments impacting a target at range of 15 feet (4.57 meters) and at elevations up to 4 feet (1.22 meters) from the ground will be considered.  Fragmentation pattern is a measure of hits per area in the target.  The threshold is to at least match the pattern of the M67.”

The objective fragmentation pattern KPP calls for a greater than 15 percent improvement over the M67.

Fragmentation kinetic energy is a measure of the average kinetic energy of all fragments.  The government will assess that energy at the ranges described above, with threshold level being an improvement of 15 percent beyond the capabilities of the M67 and an objective level greater than 15 percent.

Other KPPs provided with the RFI address features like fuze pull ring design, main charge energetics, operating environment (same as M67 for both threshold and objective) and system safety.

Industry white paper responses to the RFI can consist of either existing or proposed systems, with developmental efforts potentially considered at the Technology Readiness Level (TRL) 3 or higher.  The white papers are requested no later than 2:00 PM EDT on or before May 14, 2012 to Naval Surface Warfare Center, Crane Division.


Scott Gourley is a former U.S. Army officer and the author of more than 1,500...