U.S. Army testers recently evaluated a new type of hand grenade that allows soldiers to connect up to three sections of explosive for a more powerful blast.
The Scalable Offensive Hand Grenade offers conventional soldiers a new capability. Unlike the standard fragmentation grenade, this design offers mainly a blast effect that can be doubled or tripled to suit the job. It has also been fielded to U.S. Special Operations Command since 2010.
Army officials tested it during a recent live-fire portion of the service’s annual Army Expeditionary Warrior Experiment at the Maneuver Center of Excellence at Fort Benning, Ga.
The base grenade has a non-removable, 3.5 second fuse and a body encasing .25 pounds of high explosive. Two separate modules of the same potency can be quickly connected to provide one, simultaneous explosion.
The blast completely collapsed a one-room, adobe-style structure, said Harry Lubin, chief of the Experimentation Branch of MCOE’s Maneuver Battle Lab.
“It really has a devastating effect,” he said.
It’s too early to tell if the Army will adopt the new grenade system, but the results of the live-fire assessment will be available to Army officials who write future lethality requirements, Lubin said.
This was the first year a live-fire portion was added to AEWE. It gave Benning officials the chance to evaluate weapons that might not be looked at otherwise, Lubin said.