Master soldiers in Ukraine are looking for the perfect grenade
“Double sided tape, gloves, Allen keys, soldering iron, 3D printing plastic, ball bearings, digital scale. In addition to all this, the German-made DM51 fragmentation grenade.
Welcome to the daily life of the Ukrainian workshop, where Thomas Gibbons-Neff and Natalia Yermak of the New York Times write articles and discover “perfect” day by day by a few masters with ideas as strong as their stomachs. grenade”.
The specification of the latter is relatively simple. Its weight should not exceed the maximum that the Chinese brand DJI (or one of its equivalents) Mavic DJ3 drone can carry in flight or endurance without loading. And, of course, it must be able to penetrate the thick armor of a modern tank, which requires properties that not all projectiles possess.
Tea #Ukraine Army uses some “homemade” kamikaze drones based on a powerful racing drone and equipped with RKG-3 battery grenades. They can be really dangerous when used by specialists, especially for light and unarmored vehicles, but also for tanks.#UkraineWar pic.twitter.com/fgZapgfb4J
— Rst like ✊☠ (@rst_like) January 7, 2023
?️Ukraine drone accurately dropped a grenade on a Russian T-72B3M tank. Another Russian tank of the same type was damaged. #UkraineRussiaWar pic.twitter.com/IdEEsdIQTq
—MilitaryLand.net (@Militarylandnet) August 17, 2022
40mm grenade (<$100)
vs russian tank (millions of $$$)
Who would win? pic.twitter.com/2Mb7oUnnZ6
— Walter Report ?? (@walter_report) September 29, 2022
All in all, smart use and all-around creativity from the start of the war creates a kit that allows for cut-rate destruction in the Russian ranks. Or in the Ukrainian ranks: if they struggle to be so creative and reactive with the weight of the Russian military bureaucracy, the troops in Moscow are not bereft of these little lethal tinkerers.
“War is economics. it’s money NYT Graf describes the Ukrainian soldier in charge of this workshop and unit in the east of the country. And if you have a $3,000 drone and a $200 grenade, but you can destroy a $3 million tank, that’s when it gets interesting.”
Holy Hand Pomegranate
Very interesting, even: this partly explains why, like other recent conflicts, but more massively and visibly, Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine gave such a significant role to these few expensive small aircraft and thousands of people. one way to make them a vector of death for armored vehicles as well as their passengers or infantry.
The crew of a Russian BMP-3 abandoned the dismounted infantry after shooting down a grenade launched by a Ukrainian drone from the 92nd Mechanized Brigade.
The thrown infantry is then targeted with additional grenades. pic.twitter.com/ul2BAMQIvx
—OSINTtechnical (@Osinttechnical) November 19, 2022
The self-made reset mechanism provides high accuracy — look at the video. An online shooting allows including news intelligence. It turns out a cheap and effective weapon against individual soldiers pic.twitter.com/kmubVUuGdB
— IanMatveev (@ian_matveev) April 29, 2022
#Ukraine️ : The drone leaves a surprise
Ukrainian drone, 30 mm grenade launcher, Russian infantry
This footage, which shows a Ukrainian drone throwing grenades at Russian infantry, took place near Volodymyrivka (48.671271, 38.199235). #Soledar pic.twitter.com/Gyizi52YV0
— Ukraine News ?? (@Ukrainene) September 1, 2022
So Graf and his colleagues are searching. They experiment, they try, they give up, they adapt, they persist, they tinker. It should be “the perfect grenade,” the soldier explains, exactly 450 grams. Some of the explosives supplied by Ukraine from the West weigh less; but they lack the penetration power needed to destroy a tank.
Others, on the other hand, would be ideal candidates if they didn’t suffer from unhealthy excess weight for the drone that would carry them. The Count and his men then bring out the precision tools and the deminer’s guts to dismantle the grenades and do a bit of reverse engineering.
From these little machines of precision and death, they must try to figure out the gears and mechanisms that are unique to each of them and that there are no instructions for use, without allowing any guesswork and, as described by the New York Times. Provided by France. , Germany, or the United States that manufactures and ships them.
To save weight, they 3D print the new bodies in plastic that is lighter than the original material. Adapting everything to front-line drones, they invent a lock and trigger system. They say accidents sometimes happen to those who have to handle these modified and dangerous ammunition.
Graf tells the NYT that the DM5 isn’t a bad candidate, at least against dismounted troops: its explosive mechanism isn’t designed to penetrate tank armor. Therefore, the team is working on another base model from another location and with different features.
It looks perfect for destroying a $3 million tank, but despite Graf and company’s best efforts, it’s still a few hundred grams too heavy to be perfect. Research and DIY therefore continue: the game is worth the candle.