Thursday, 22 September 2016

The U.S Army Is Finally Developing Left-Handed Grenades

Left and right-handed people will find it equally easy to activate and launch their hand grenades.

The humble hand grenade hasn’t been updated by the United States military in about 40 years, leaving our soldiers with a model that works just fine for right-handed people, who hold it with their right hand, pull the pin with their left to release the safety lever, and then throw the grenade.  For lefties, however, it’s a little more complicated: they are advised to hold the grenade upside down, because that allows them to keep their thumbs over the safety lever.   Soon, the army might treat right and left-handed people equally, as far as hand grenades are concerned. Currently in development, according to the Army’s Armament Research, Development and Engineering Center, is a grenade that can be thrown with either hand, no special adjustments necessary. Perhaps more importantly (to right-handed people, at least), the grenade also has two modes: concussive and fragmentation, and soldiers can switch between the two depending on what is needed for the situation.   The Army hasn’t had concussion grenades since 1975, when they were taken out of service because they contained asbestos.  This means, ARDEC project officer Jessica Perciballi said, that soldiers won’t have to carry different types of grenades — meaning the update is both multipurpose and considerate of sinister-handed servicemen and women.
The Enhanced Tactical Multi-Purpose grenade, or ET-MP, also has an electronic fuze rather than a mechanical one, like the grenade it will replace has. Electronic fuzes, according to War Is Boring, are more reliable and precise. That said, lefties will have to wait some time before the ET-MPs hit the battlefield.   War Is Boring says the grenade appears to still be in the design stage. ARDEC says it estimates the grenades won’t be deployed until fiscal year 2020.