Rheinmetall hand grenades

I found this nice summarizing PDF, so this blog post is simply about hardware.

You can disregard the "(c) 2007" at the bottom; it sure is Rheinmetall copyright, but the presentation was surely written later than in 2007.

The presentation file shows that - including designs taken from subsidiaries - Rheinmetall covers a wide range of innovative hand grenade designs:

  • flash bangs
  • offensive hand grenade
  • mini offensive hand grenade
  • defensive hand grenade (preformed fragments)
  • smoke hand grenade


not in portfolio, but under development elsewhere:

not in portfolio, but existing:
  • modular hand / rifle grenade (such as the old Polyvalent MDF)
  • modular defensive/offensive hand grenade with separate preformed fragments (such as competitor's Diehl DM 51 that's the Bundeswehr's standard hand grenade)

not in portfolio, may not exist anywhere:
  • linear cutting charge formed with stackable hand grenades
  • mini enhanced blast (thermobaric) hand grenade

This shows how diverse and complicated in design a munition of war with roots in the 11th century has become. The development is ongoing. 
It may very well be that the air burst hand grenade** and the blast enhanced hand grenade*** will be introduced into the Bundeswehr in the future, departing from the traditional offensive and defensive (or hybrid as DM 51) pattern. The stackable type looks like a military engineer munition. I sure hope there will be plenty of those multispectral (red phosphorous) smoke hand grenades in stocks.


*: when set to defensive it explodes with fragmentation effect, when set to offensive (blast-frag) hand grenade mode it likely first sheds its frag shell with low energy, then explodes as offensive (blast) hand grenade. 
**: which directs its fragments such that safe distances not much greater than with offensive hand grenades can be achieved
***: It would likely not called "blast enhanced" if introduced in the Bundeswehr, for NGOs caught up with this being a code for "thermobaric".


  1. Rheinmetall missed several "tricks” with the stackable hand grenade: 1) pole charge capability - literally the ability to place and trigger the grenade at the end of a 2-3 meter stick; 2) the ability to combine airburst with a handle for longer range (~Model 24 Stielhandgranate); 3) an impact fuse; and 4) a simple 10 second to 5 minute timer for initiating other demolition charges.

    I am not following the requirement for a hand grenade type of linear cutting charge. This is very much a specialist tool. Demolition experts can achieve the same results using a number of alternative charge configurations.

    As with medicine, the more you know about explosives, the less you need to spend on fancy, and expensive, munitions. One of the worst examples is the new APOBS, which should have complemented, instead of replaced, the Bangalore Torpedo, a useful, and often more effective against a number of targets provided engineers are allowed to modify them (many western militaries are hostile to this attitude).


  2. In a tactical situation, how many types of hand grenades can individual soldier carry and use? Three? Offensive/defensive, thermobaric and multispectral smoke?

    1. Depends. I think smoke should be carried by NCOs, thermobaric seems to be primarily for combat indoors.
      The exact loadouts vary depending on situation.
      Infantrymen used to carry extra bags full of hand grenades when intense use was expected (clearing trenches or buildings).