The Czech Army is to be equipped with new modern hand grenades. The tender to supply the grenades was won by Česká zbrojovka a.s., a local company that put forward the best price bid.
Petr Vávra, the head of the Czech Army Department states: “The selection parameters were extremely tough, the Army specified their requirements and the technical and user parameters for the grenades in great detail. Obviously, the objective was to select a modern yet a tried and tested as well as effective device that would take into account the current security threats and the needs of soldiers in combat.”
Major manufacturers from NATO countries took part in the tender. “It is not an easy feat to succeed in such a strong competition, therefore I, as a former soldier, am personally very pleased that another type of a modern weapon will become a part of the a Czech soldier’s equipment,” Vávra says. The hand grenades are manufactured by Rheinmetall Waffe Munition, CZ’s strategic partner. “We have worked with the Rheinmteall company for nearly 10 years on various projects. Their high quality munition has helped us to sell the CZ 805 G1 grenade launcher from CZ and we in turn help them to sell their munition,” he explains. CZ is planning to transfer the grenade production to the Czech Republic, among others, also in case of mobilization and state crises. For the hand grenade project, we expect to cooperate with Explosia a.s. “They are a very interesting partner for us whose portfolio complements our comprehensive programme of providing equipment for special units. At the moment, both companies have joint offers from three countries,” Vávra further adds.
Currently, the Czech Republic army uses universal hand grenades vz. 86 (URG 86) and the rest of F1 defence hand grenades, both of which are now obsolete. In the case of the URG 86 grenades, problems with quality have been detected in some batches produced by the Slovak company VOP Nováky and their use in the Slovak army has been suspended. Recently, the Army has turned down the concept of a combined grenade with an option to modify the initiation after impact or with a delay element as seen in the URG 86. The new grenades will be equipped with a time delayer that initiates the grenade within 4-5 seconds. They are also smaller and lighter, thereby increasing the comfort for the soldier when wearing body armour, or allowing the soldier to carry more grenades. The weight decrease is really quite significant, as the URG 86 weighs approx. 430 grams and the F1 grenade 600 grams. Regarding the new grenades, the fragmentation variant weighs about 340 grams and the concussion variant only about 180 grams. In addition, despite the decrease in weight, the pressure wave achieved is large and effective, and in the fragmentation grenade, the number of fragments has increased from about 1,200 to about 3,500. The army was lacking the concussion grenades in particular, for use in built-up areas, for penetration into buildings and special buildings. The supply of grenades will also include school and training variants, as well as training and other user documentation.