Rheinmetall's new Spectac stun grenade takes on smartphone form factor
German defense company Rheinmetall has unveiled a new rectangular, pocket-sized stun grenade for military and law enforcement. About the size of a smartphone, it's also designed to be easily concealable for undercover agents or bodyguards.
Originally designed for Britain's SAS in the 1970s, stun grenades are a less-lethal munition for temporarily blinding and deafening opponents, especially in close quarters. With a brightness of around seven megacandela and a noise level of up to 180 decibels, at close quarters such grenades can overload the retina, causing five seconds of blindness, and temporarily deafen and throw an opponent off balance.
Famously used in lifting the 1980 siege on the Iranian Embassy in London, stun grenades, also called flash grenades, flash-bang grenades, or thunder grenades, have been routinely used by the military and law enforcement. However, there is always room for improvement. The standard stun grenade is a bulky cylinder that is hard to conceal or control and tends to bounce and roll when thrown, which can not only result in missing the target, but also in dangerous, even lethal, accidents.
Spectac is intended to prevent these shortcomings with a new ergonomic design that makes it pocket-sized. The grenade measures only 110 x 63 x20 mm (4.3 x 2.5 x 0.8 in) and weighs only 350 grams (12.3 oz). This allows it to fit neatly in a pocket or tactical vest with the locking ring and rocker arm igniter tucked neatly away.
According to Rheinmetall, Spectac's rectangular design not only makes it compact, but also easier to place. It won't roll and stops quickly to within 35 cm (12 in) of its landing point when thrown. It can also be used on stairways. The fuse can be set to delay from 0.5 to 1.5 seconds and the grenade is water resistant up to 66 ft (20 m).
Now available for deployment, the Spectac uses bottom top venting (BTV) to protect the user's hand in the event of an accidental detonation, and it doesn't break into dangerous fragments. For environmental reasons, the grenade complies with the European Chemicals Directive and the detonator contains no lead.