NEW DELHI – The Indian Army lost confidence in most types of ammunition being manufactured by the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).
According to the Indian newspaper ‘Times of India’ (TOI), the India’s Army has told the Ministry of Defence (MoD) that the spike in ammunition-related accidents is causing fatalities, injuries and damage to equipment at an alarming rate.
The TOI reported that the India’s sounded the alarm over the unacceptably high number of accidents taking place in the field due to the poor and defective quality of ammunition being supplied for tanks, artillery, air defence and other guns OFB.
Loss of confidence It also said that this, in turn, is leading to the Army’s loss of confidence in most types of ammunition” being manufactured by OFB.
“The Army has raised with Secretary (Defence Production), Ajay Kumar, the serious concerns about the lack of requisite quality control and quality assurance by OFB, which with 41 factories and an annual turnover of about Rs 19,000 crore is the main source of supply of arms and ammunition to the over 12-lakh strong force.”
“Any drop in the quality of OFB products has major operational ramifications on the country’s war-waging potential,” it said.
The red alert has led to an urgent collaborative effort between the Army and MoD’s department of defence production to improve the functioning of OFB, with Kumar also asking the force to submit a paper about different problems with the ammunition.
15-page paper The 15-page paper presents an extremely grim picture. It says regular accidents are occurring with 105mm Indian field guns, 105mm light field guns, 130mm MA1 medium guns, 40mm L-70 air defence guns as well as the main guns of the T-72, T-90 and Arjun main-battle tanks, with some isolated cases also being reported from the 155mm Bofors guns, due to defective ammunition.
“With the OFB’s piecemeal and poor approach in problem-solving, the Army has stopped firing some types of long-range ammunition, while also refraining from not testing some others to their maximum ranges. There have been, for instance, over 40 accidents of the 125mm high explosive ammunition fired by tanks in the last five years,” it further said.