Technical Specifications: Smoke Grenade
CLASSIFIED LEVEL YELLOW
PHALANX Extraterrestrial Response Unit
Technical Document, Delta Clearance
Filed: 20 March 2084
By: Cdr. Paul Navarre, R&D: Engineering Division, PHALANX, Atlantic Operations Command
The alien attack on Mumbai made our situation painfully clear. Their technology is far more advanced than ours. The complete inability of Commonwealth troops to make a dent in the Mumbai offensive revealed critical weaknesses in current military training and equipment. They lost three battalions just bringing the aliens to a standstill without inflicting significant casualties. PHALANX has to overcome these odds, and to do that we need the very best human technology has to offer.
The Excalibur Program was created to find the most effective weapons on Earth by reviewing their manufacturing standards, durability, operational record, and their combat performance in the situations where we've managed to bring the aliens to battle.
The 'Artificial Fog' smoke grenade was developed by the African league of nations during the war on the diamond cartels. It is an ingenious design which proves that, even in the age of electronic perception, the smoke grenade hasn't outlived its usefulness. There is no vision system that cannot be defeated somehow, and upgraded smoke grenades like the Artificial Fog grenade can block infrared sighting equipment as easily as they block the Mk. 1 Eyeball.
The Artificial Fog grenade is what is called a 'bursting' smoke grenade. Instead of pouring smoke out of holes in the top, it bursts apart much like an incendiary grenade and covers a large area of ground with titanium tetrachloride, which quickly produces vast clouds of corrosive white smoke. It also fills the air with minuscule 'chaff', flakes of iron that refract radar waves and generally muck up the electronic picture of the battlefield. Other trace additives to the smoke help refract most of the non-visible EM spectrum. Even alien technology has trouble sifting through the thick soup.
Titanium tetrachloride smoke by itself is slightly harmful to human beings due to its acidity. The additives make it more dangerous, especially breathing iron flakes, but it's nothing our medics can't deal with.
Smoke grenades are an important tool to hide our approaches, cover tactical withdrawals, and to temporarily lock unwanted participants out of a firefight. It is recommended that every soldier carry one for these purposes. Not every mission may require concealment, but we can never know when the opportune moment will present itself.
Gas masks are recommended if several smokescreens pile up on each other.