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SOCOM: More Flash-Bang Grenades, Please

Marines_flash-bang

Who doesn't like German flash-bang grenades? Certainly not American commandos.

The U.S. subsidiary of the German arms-maker Rheinmetall AG recently landed a five-year, $17 million contract with the Navy to supply U.S. Special Operations Command with flash-bang grenades, according to a Pentagon announcement.

The name of the product wasn't specified in the contract description, though it's probably the MK13 Mod 0 BTV-EL Sound & Flash grenade, a high-performance stun grenade.

The devices produce exactly what their name implies -- intense light and sound meant to distract and disorient an enemy in hostile environments that require less than lethal force, according to the contract announcement.

Here's how the company describes it: "The MK13 produces blinding flash and deafening noise levels sufficient to daze and disorient onlookers, while still falling just under the threshold of inducing permanent injury."

mk13

A delay fuse detonates the grenade 1.5 seconds after the fly-off lever is released, according to the firm's website. This time delay, combined with the bottom and top venting system and the extended length of the MK13 body, gives the user the ideal combination of stunning flash and sound in a safe and efficient package, it states.

The product is waterproof up to 20 meters, making it ideal for use in naval, maritime and/or littoral operations, the website states.

An unspecified quantity of the grenades will be manufactured in Trittau, a village in the north of Germany located about 20 miles east of Hamburg, and delivered to the U.S. military through August 2019, according to the announcement.

It's not the only agreement the company has with the Defense Department. Both the U.S. Navy and Army over the past year have awarded the firm multi-million-dollar contracts for tens of thousands of 66mm smoke grenades.

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