Major jolt to OFK after Army’s U-turn on anti-tank ammunition

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 07 Dec 2017 11:53:21


Staff Reporter,

IN A major jolt to Ordnance Factory Khamaria (OFK), the Army authorities have discarded requirement of 125 mm FSAPDS anti-tank ammunition. The factory has spent budget worth hundreds of crores to start production of anti-tank ammunition in collaboration with Russia under Mango Project. The project is one of the ambitious projects for OFK to meet its work requirements. Senior administrative officers of OFK are disappointed with the stand of Army authorities but are tight-lipped to comment over the issue. It may be noted that Union Minister of State for Defence Dr Subhash Bhamre had inaugurated production unit of 125-mm anti-tank ammunition at OFK in October 2017.

The issue came to light during a visit of Director General Quality Assurance, Major General Shamsher Singh when he informed about requirement of anti-tank ammunition with capacity to penetrate 650 mm tank surface and expressed helplessness of the Army in procuring existing ammunition being produced at OFK that is compatible to penetrate 550 mm surface. A senior administrative officer of OFK, on condition of anonymity, informed that the factory has spent whopping Rs 1,000 crore in development of separate production units, purchasing equipment, training and research and development in Mango Project.

The project was started pointing out requirement of Armed forces but abrupt change in decision of the Army authorities may prove a major setback to the factory. Senior trade union leader of OFK Arun Dubey informed that closing of Mango Project will cause irreparable loss to the factory. He charged that this stand of Army authorities hints a conspiracy for procurement of sensitive ammunition from private firms.

Senior trade union leaders of OFK Anoop Siria, KBS Chouhan, Anand Sharma, Ajay Chouhan, Hridesh Yadav and others have alleged that it is a conspiracy of the Central Government to downsize Ordnance Factories and promote corporate houses in defence production.