Kolkata: Ordinace Factory Board announced that they will supply lethal rifle to Army. Nearly 19 years later of Kargil War, it wants a rifle that will shoot to kill and the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is developing one. The board is also upbeat after receiving orders for 300 upgraded field guns from the Army and looks forward to more.
“We successfully ‘upgunned’ the old 130mm Russian field guns to 155mm and bagged the Army’s order. The Army has already ordered 300 guns and may want more. Our factory at Nalanda has started producing the propellant for shells for these guns that we used to import earlier. In 2017-18, we shall produce nearly Rs 15,000 crore worth of products and there will be stress on exports. From an importer of weapons, India wants to become an exporter,” S K Chourasia, director general, Ordnance Factories and chairman, OFB, said in Kolkata on Monday.
According to Hari Mohan, the Army wants to replace the upgraded 1B15.56 X 45 mm Insas rifles that it now uses. “At an Army commanders’ conference, it was decided to procure a rifle that would shoot to kill. We are now working on a 7.62 X 51 mm version. The Army will procure nearly 8 lakh rifles and 72,000 of these will be through a fast track procedure. OFB hopes to supply nearly 25% of the remaining. OFB also hopes to participate in the global tender for the rest,” he said.
OFB member Saurabh Kumar said the export turnover for 2017-18 has been Rs 190 crore and there are orders for Rs 250 crore. OFB is also developing a mine protected vehicle (MPV) that can withstand ablast of 20 kg TNT.
“From what we have heard, 50 kg of TNT was used in the blast at Sukma. Even a tank can’t withstand that. The MPVs used now can withstand a blast of 10 kg under the belly and 14 kg under its tyres. We are trying to develop one that can withstand nearly 20 kg. The new MPVs will also have blast attenuation seats that would absorb much of the shock,” Hari Mohan added.