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Army building new ambidextrous multi-purpose grenade

PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J. — Engineers at Picatinny Arsenal are working on the first
new lethal hand grenade in more than 40 years, which is designed to give greater
flexibility to the warfighter.

The multi-purpose hand grenade design will provide both fragmentation and blast
overpressure more effectively and safely than its legacy counterparts. Once fielded,
Soldiers will be able to select and use a hand grenade with different effects simply by
flipping a switch.

Over the past five years, Picatinny engineers have been collaborating with Infantry
School representatives, hand grenade cadre, as well as active duty Soldiers and
Marines, to determine warfighter needs regarding hand grenades.

Our warfighter lost the capability of using an alternate lethal hand grenade when the
MK3A2 concussion grenade was taken out of service in 1975 due to an asbestos
hazard, leaving the M67 fragmentation grenade.

According to Jessica Perciballi, ARDEC project officer for ET-MP, Army, Grenades &
Demolitions Division, ET-MP represents the first hand grenade that can be tailored to
the mission. Soldiers will not need to carry as many types of hand grenades.

“They are currently carrying one M67 grenade that provides lethal fragmentation
effects. With the new multi-purpose grenade, they can carry one ET-MP grenade and
have the ability to choose either fragmentation or concussive effects desired for the
situation,” Perciballi said.

Another feature is that the grenades are designed for ambidextrous use, meaning that
they can be thrown with either hand. Current grenades require a different arming
procedure for left-handed users.

“Not only will ET-MP provide additional capabilities and lethality to the warfighter, it will
also be the first Army Fuze Safety Review Board and Insensitive Munition-qualified
lethal grenade in the Army’s portfolio,” Perciballi added.

“We received direct input from the Army and Marine Corps early on, which was critical
in ensuring the new arming and fuzing design was user friendly,” Hall said.

“With these upgrades in the ET-MP, not only is the fuze timing completely electronic,
but the detonation train is also out-of-line,” Hall added. “Detonation time can now be
narrowed down into milliseconds, and until armed, the hand grenade will not be able to

According to Hall, the current plan for ET-MP is to transition the new grenades to
Project Manager Close Combat Systems in Fiscal Year 2020. That organization is
also located at Picatinny Arsenal.