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. 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.

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