Defence Minister Should Permit Ordnance Factories To Manufacture Light Tank (Tracked) For Indian Army
The Government is now not allotting any workload to the Ordnance Factories on nomination basis. OFB is also asked to compete with private players whenever the Government issues any Request For Information (RFI) to manufacture equipments required for the Armed Forces. The Trade Unions of the Defence Civilian Employees are repeatedly representing the Government to implement the assurances given in the past by the former Defence Ministers that whenever the Indian Armed Forces requires any new products the first priority would be always given to the Ordnance Factories only. However the Government is going
ahead with its decision in the name of level playing field. On 22-4-2021 the Directorate General of Mechanised Forces of Indian Army floated a RFI for procurement of LIGHT TANK (TRACKED) under the Make in India policy. The All India Defence Employees Federation immediately reacted against
this Government decision and have represented to the Defence Minister to allot the workload of LIGHT TANK (TRACKED) for manufacturing in the Ordnance Factories.
www.indianpsu.com accessed a copy of the letter dated 24-4-2021 written by C. Srikumar, General Secretary of the AIDEF addressed to Rajnath Singh, in which he has proposed various measures for the consideration of the Defence Minister, so that instead of wasting time straight away this LIGHT TANK can be manufactured in the Ordnance Factories. The contents of the AIDEF letter dated 24-4-2021 is given here for the information of our readers.
Your kind and immediate attention is invited to the above subject matter. On 22-4-2021 the DGMF issued a Request For Information for procurement of LIGHT TANK (TRACKED) FOR Indian Army. We are shocked and surprised to note that when the Ordnance Factory Board can manufacture this item
with its existing infrastructure and technical know how why the MoD has permitted DGMF to float a RFI for procurement of LIGHT TANK (TRACKED) at Ordnance Factories. Heavy Vehicles Factory Avadi and Ordnance Factory Medak can very well produce this item. Even attempt can be made at Vehicle
Factory Jabalpur also for manufacturing this item also. In the existing Tank technology available with OFB, having simple electric stabilizer and other instruments fit for high altitude snow bound areas is required to be done. For this purpose a team of DRDO, OFB, DGQA and DGMF can work together who can study the requirement and suggest for system integration and testing. If required specialist from abroad may be from Russia and Germany can be hired for this purpose. The project can be monitored by a committee under the Chairmanship of Honourable RM. It is pertinent to mention here that in the past the Defence Ministers have given written assurance to the Federations that for manufacturing of any new products required for the Indian Armed forces, the first priority would be always for the Ordnance Factories.
In the interest of nation to meet the requirement of Indian Army for building a Tank around 20 Tons, 40 to 60 KMPH on ice armour to anti Tank projectiles from enemy Tanks penetrable upto 600 MM capable of hitting targets with little error at 4 kilometers etc., can easily be developed by the above mentioned joint team of DRDO, OFB, DGQA and DGMF. The Government should not waste time in negotiating for local manufacture through private sector, TOT offset etc., A time schedule for finalising the specifications and configuration, selection of major subsystem and sources, detailed design of Hull Turret Gun, proto types buildings, simultaneous field trial, final testing and freezing of design and development, batch
production and bulk production etc, should be decided so that OFB can start the production within a period of 3 years at the rate of 100 to 200 LIGHT TANK (TRACKED) per year.
We are confident that the Honourable RM will consider our proposal in its true perspective and take appropriate decision in the interest of nation and the Ordnance Factories.