Indian Ordnance Factories Current Affairs - 2020

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India Russia to sign MoUs on AK-203 assault rifles

The Indian Army will sign MoU with Russia to procure AK-203 assault rifles. According to the deal, around 1 lakh rifles are to be received directly from Russia and the rest will be manufactured in India

Highlights

The rifles will be manufactured at Korwa in Uttar Pradesh by a joint Venture (JV) called Indo-Russian Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL). Of the JV, 50.5% is to be owned by India and 49.5% by Russia.

Current Status

Apart from the AK-203 rifles, the Indian army recently received the first batch of 10,000 SIG-716 assault rifles from US. The contract was signed in February 2019. The plan is to provide the high cost SIGs to the front-line troops and the remaining forces will be armed with AK-203 rifles. Currently Indian army is using indigenous INSAS (Indian National Small Arms System) rifles and is looking for ways to replace them.

INSAS

INSAS is a light machine gun that is currently being manufactured at Ordnance Factory Trichy, Ishapore Arsenal and Kanpur. It was adopted in 1990. The rifles were widely used during Kargil war. There were complaints of jamming and cracking of the rifles in high altitudes of Himalayas. Similar complaints were also reported by the Nepalese army during the 2005 Maoists clash.

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OFB gets nod for Producing Long Range Artillery Gun Dhanush

The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has received clearance from the Indian Army and the Ministry of Defence for production of 114 ‘Dhanush’ long-range artillery guns.

Dhanush Long Range Artillery Guns

The features of the Dhanush long-range artillery guns are:

  • Dhanush Long Range Artillery Guns are the first ever indigenous 155 mm x 45 calibre long-range artillery gun.
  • Dhanush Long Range Artillery Guns are equipped with inertial navigation-based sighting system, auto-laying facility, onboard ballistic computation and an advanced day and night direct firing system.
  • The self-propulsion unit on Dhanush allows the gun to negotiate and deploy itself in mountainous terrains with ease.
  • Dhanush is also electronically upgraded to enhance firing accuracies, laying speeds of the existing gun and to provide compatibility with various kinds of ammunition as well.
  • Dhanush howitzer is an improved version of  Bofors guns acquired by India between 1987 and 1991.
  • Dhanush howitzer is a reverse-engineered upgraded variant of the original Bofors design.
  • Dhanush reportedly has a new maximum effective range of 38 kilometres in salvo mode.
  • Dhanush howitzer is capable of firing eight rounds per minutes and needs a crew of six to eight artillerymen.

Ordnance Factory Board

Indian Ordnance Factories organisation is a family of 41 Ordnance Factories under the aegis of its corporate headquarters Ordnance Factory Board, Kolkata. It works under the aegis of Ministry of Defence.

The ordnance factories form an integrated base for the indigenous production of defence hardware and equipment. The primary objective of the ordnance factories is achieving self-reliance in equipping the armed forces with state of the art battlefield equipment.

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