NICO-Pyrotechnik (which is part of the Rheinmetall Industrie AG group, the largest munitions manufacturer in Germany) manufactures a wide range of screening and signalling devices for various applications, including vehicle-mounted launching systems, with calibres of 40, 66, 76 and 81 mm. The NICO smoke ammunition is launched from its own cartridge case with the main advantages of this feature being reproducible firing ranges and safety functioning.
The 40 mm grenades are normally used by infantry grenade launchers while the 66 mm, 76 mm and 81 mm grenades are normally launched by vehicle-mounted grenade launchers from the UK, Germany and Eastern Europe respectively.
NICO NT screening smoke
This is a plastic bonded pyrotechnic smoke composition that does not contain either Hexachlorethane (HC) or metal powders and gives a pure white colour. The smoke consists of ammonia-complexed zinc chloride, ammonium chloride and water and when burnt leaves only a residue of 1 to 3 per cent by weight. There is no screening effect above the 1 uxn wavelength.
NICO IR smoke
This is designated the NS 20 and is efficient in the 3 to 5 u.m and 8 to 14 urn regions. It cannot be penetrated by a laser range-finder and is capable of developing an Infra-Red (IR) screen 25 to 40 m from the launcher in 1 second. It is claimed to be more difficult to detect on the battlefield because of its colour and temperature. There is also a training smoke based on ammonium phosphate.
NICO HC smoke
Hexachlorethane develops a very dense screening smoke, greyish in colour, under most climatic conditions.
NICO KM screening smoke
This is a non-toxic smoke consisting of a pyrotechnically generated aerosol, the main ingredients of which are potassium chloride and magnesium oxide. These produce a smoke of pure white colour. The KM screening smoke can be used as a substitute for HC and NT grenades for training purposes.
Multispectral screening smoke
In addition to its considerable ability to attenuate millimetric-wave radar, this smoke shows a large defeating potential in the near and far IR region. Further improvements have led to an increased efficiency in the visual region as well. This means that now a real pyrotechnic multispectral screening smoke is available that is effective in all three wavelengths. Its mass extinction coefficients are approximately 2.5, 1.5 and 0.5 m2/g in the visual, IR and millimetric wavebands. The attenuation of the smoke cloud regarding the frequencies between 35 and 140 GHz is >15 dB.
These include tear gas, sound and flash, coloured smoke and a cargo version for high explosive/splintering grenades.
Production as required. In service with various countries.
|Main weapon caliber (mm)