PICATINNY ARSENAL, N.J., Sept. 20 (UPI) -- A new, multipurpose hand grenade is being developed by engineers at the Picatinny Arsenal in New Jersey, the U.S. Army reports.
The grenade design will provide both fragmentation and blast overpressure through a flip of a switch.
Soldiers and Marines now carry the M-67 fragmentation grenade. The MK3A2 concussion grenade was taken out of service in 1975 out of concern over an asbestos hazard.
The Enhanced Tactical Multi-Purpose (ET-MP) hand grenade is being developed by the Army Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, or ARDEC. Fuze timing of the new grenade will be completely electronic and detonation time can be narrowed down to milliseconds. Until armed, the weapon is completely safe.
The grenade development at Picatinny is being performed by engineers with ARDEC in cooperation with the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga., and the Program Manager for Close Combat Systems.
"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," said Matthew Hall, Grenades Tech Base Development Lead.
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.