Shoddy ammo from ordnance factories hitting military services: CAG


NEW DELHI: Shoddy manufacture of critical ammunition by the Ordnance Manufacturing facility Board (OFB) has as soon as again occur to the fore, with the

Comptroller and Auditor General

(CAG) now castigating the state-operate entity for compromising operational navy readiness by failing to meet a “significant quantity” of the Army’s specifications as effectively as supplying defective fuses top to multiple mishaps.

TOI had described on May possibly fourteen that the Army experienced sounded alarm above the unacceptably superior selection of incidents having spot in the area because of to very poor high quality of ammunition currently being provided for tanks, artillery, air defence and other guns by the OFB, which has forty one

ordnance factories

underneath it with an annual spending plan of more than Rs 15,000 crore.

The Army informed the defence ministry that the increase in ammunition-linked mishaps, using place after a 7 days on an average, had been causing “fatalities, accidents and hurt to equipment” often. This, in convert, was “leading to the Army’s reduction of self-confidence in most forms of ammunition” being made by OFB.

Tabled in

Parliament

on Friday, the CAG report on the OFB’s efficiency for 2017-2018 painted an similarly alarming image. The Military and Navy documented at the very least 36 incidents from 2013-fourteen to 2017-eighteen thanks to “fuse-linked problems/problems” in 9 kinds of ammunition that were researched. These integrated eighty one mm substantial-explosive (HE) mortar bombs, 40 mm HE rounds for L-70 air defence guns, 84 mm ‘illuminating’ munitions for rocket launchers and 125 mm HE shells for

T-seventy two

tanks, it reported.

Fuses are an important and vital element of ammunition to give safe and sound and reputable detonation at the sought after time and position. Faulty fuses can guide to bursting of barrels as well as accidental and untimely explosions. Aside from “inadequate good quality checks”, there had been “abnormal delays” in completing such “defect investigations”, which stymied “remedial” steps by the factories concerned, the CAG stated.

“Moreover, a sizeable quantity of the Army’s calls for for some principal ammunition goods remained exceptional as of March 31, 2018, thus adversely affecting its operational preparedness. The factories obtained production targets for only forty nine% objects in 2017-eighteen,” it stated.

“OFB’s slippages in output and provide led to vital deficiency of 7 types of ammunition (ranging from 32% to seventy four%) and 5 styles of spare fuses (forty one% to 94%) in the users’ stock,” it added. The Military is the OFB’s largest customer, accounting for almost 80% of its overall generation well worth about Rs fourteen,000 crore each individual 12 months.

The CAG report also mentioned that the “very meagre” exports by OFB even more decreased by 39% from Rs 22.six crore in 2016-17 to Rs 13.9 crore in 2017-eighteen. Incidentally, the report comes at a time when the federal government has prepared a draft take note for the Cabinet Committee on Stability for “corporatisation” of the OFB, which has about 1.45 lakh staff members, to “enhance practical autonomy, effectiveness and unleash new growth potential”.

The shift will enable improve OFB’s turnover to Rs 30,000 crore by 2024-twenty five, increase its exports to twenty five% of the turnover, and boost self-reliance in technological know-how from the current twenty% to 75% by 2028-29, contends the CCS note.