New Delhi: A major project for the purchase of 10 lakh multi-mode hand grenades 'Made in India' was approved by the Defence ministry on Wednesday.

The existing HE-36 grenades, manufactured by the Ordnance factory Board, will be replaced by the new acquisition. These multi-mode hand grenades have been designed specifically by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). A production agency for these grenades has also been selected in order to facilitate large scale production.

Two contracts have already been signed by the government to meet the personal weapon needs of the army soldiers. These projects are for the procurement of assault rifles and a joint venture with Russia for the manufacture of AK 203 rifles. The grenade project worth more than Rupees 500 crore was critical for the government.

Hand grenades are particularly useful to destroy enemy bunkers and positions as they cause heavy damage and can wipe out formations along with their soldiers.