100,000 Diehl DM51 hand grenades will be delivered to Germany

Diehl Defense, a prominent name in the realm of defense manufacturing, has recently embarked on the production of 300,000 defensive-offensive hand grenades. The bulk order has been placed by the Bundeswehr, the German army. As shared by German information source Hart Punkt, out of the total order, at least 100,000 are anticipated to be of the “Explosive/Splitter, DM51A3 with DM82A4 hand grenade fuse” variant. 

    An online report from the BAAINBw, posted on the European online procurement platform TED on January 3, reveals that the contract was sealed on December 28, and awarded straightforwardly without any bidding process. 

    Perhaps you’re curious about why there was no bid invitation in Germany for this order. Well, the answer is simple. This order, as indicated by Hart Punkt, was given directly due to Diehl Defense’s proprietary rights over the DM51 grenades in Germany. 

    100,000 Diehl DM1 hand grenades will be delivered to Germany
    Video screenshot

    Developed in the 1970s by Diehl Defense, the DM51 is a versatile offensive/defensive hand grenade of German derivation. The company sought to replace all the distinct types of grenades in the German army’s arsenal with a single model, which led to the development of the DM51. By adding or removing a fragmentation jacket, this versatile grenade can act as either an offensive or defensive weapon. 

    Structurally, the DM51 consists of a high-explosive grenade body with a detachable jacket that aids in fragmentation. When this jacket is rotated by 90 degrees, it can be conveniently removed, transforming the defensive grenade into an offensive one. The cylindrical grenade body has a fuse on top and is armed by pulling a pin. The outer jacket has several sturdy ribs to enhance its strength and also acts as a good gripping surface. Moreover, the DM51 grenades can be attached together in groups to boost their impact or to form a Bangalore torpedo. 

    The grenade’s body is packed with 60g of Nitropenta, providing a lethal blast radius of a few meters. Once fitted with the fragmentation jacket, the lethality and lethal range of the grenade dramatically increase. You’ll find the DM51 as the standard grenade throughout all branches of the German military. 

    100,000 Diehl DM1 hand grenades will be delivered to Germany
    Photo credit: Reddit

    While the exact cost of the hand grenades involved in this order remains undisclosed, it has been announced that the delivery of the order should be completed by the end of April 2025. 

    To give you an idea of the cost, a DM51 hand grenade was priced at 33.60 euros in 1996. After adjusting for inflation, the cost of one grenade would currently stand at approximately €52.66. Consequently, the potential value of this order might be around €5.26 million. 

    Analysts deduce that the specific request for 100,000 hand grenades may be attributed to the recent developments in Ukraine. In 2022, Germany supplied Ukraine with DM51A2 hand grenades from the Bundeswehr’s reserves. Diehl Defense has been assigned the task of refilling the Bundeswehr’s depleted stock of the “donated” hand grenades.

    How does DM51 work?

    The DM51 operates on the principle of a timed fuse. The fuse is activated when the safety pin is removed and the safety lever is released. This action ignites a delay element, typically made of a slow-burning material, which burns for a predetermined amount of time before triggering the detonation.

    When the delay element in the fuse burns out, it triggers the detonator, which in turn ignites the main explosive charge. The explosion creates a shock wave that shatters the casing, turning it into a cloud of lethal fragments that fly outwards in all directions.

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