DRDO 155mm Artillery Program

Can DRDO design Artillery able to pass into mass production?


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Hari Sud

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Barrel burst with 7 charges when designed for six is an over reaction. The gun is very light, made of Titanium hence instead of making 48 km with 7 charges makes 42km with 6 charges, it is still alright. This light gun very useful for LAC hence sending it back to the drawing board is a view of the arms merchants who wish this program be stopped in favour of their hardware. Moreover, it may be a storm in a tea cup and the whole issue may narrow down to a bad shell used in the gun. OFB has to be privatized fast.
 

sagar

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Barrel burst with 7 charges when designed for six is an over reaction. The gun is very light, made of Titanium hence instead of making 48 km with 7 charges makes 42km with 6 charges, it is still alright. This light gun very useful for LAC hence sending it back to the drawing board is a view of the arms merchants who wish this program be stopped in favour of their hardware. Moreover, it may be a storm in a tea cup and the whole issue may narrow down to a bad shell used in the gun. OFB has to be privatized fast.
Its 18 tons?
 

aerokan

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Money burnt on faulty ammo could have bought us 100 new Howitzers, fumes Army
The Indian Army funds spent on dangerously faulty ammunition supplied by the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) over the last six years would have been enough to purchase 100 medium artillery guns.


This staggering claim has been made in an internal Army report to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), excerpts of which have been accessed by India Today. Calculating the loss to the exchequer due to poor quality OFB ammunition to be Rs 960 crore between 2014 and 2020, the Army notes, “Rs 960 crore roughly means 100 155-mm medium artillery guns could have been bought for this amount.”


The OFB, administered by the MoD’s Department of Defence Production, is one of the world’s oldest government-controlled production organisations, and oversees a nationwide network of factories that manufactures ammunition and weaponry for the Indian armed forces.


The ammunition being criticised in the new Army report includes 23-mm air defence shells, artillery shells, 125-mm tank rounds and different calibres of bullets used in infantry assault rifles.


‘POOR QUALITY’ AMMUNITION


The Army report accessed by India Today highlights the ‘poor quality production’ at the OFB, quantifying the losses both in monetary resources as well as human life due to accidents caused by faulty ammunition.


“Lack of accountability and poor quality of production results in frequent accidents. This results in injuries and deaths of soldiers. On an average, one accident takes place per week,” says the report that has been shared with the MoD, including accident and casualty figures.


There have been 403 accidents related to faulty ammunition since 2014, though the numbers of accidents have steadily reduced. From 114 accidents in 2014, the number reduced to 53 by 2017, rose again to 78 in 2018, and dipped once again to just 16 in 2019. But the human casualty figures are far more disturbing.


Listed under the heading ‘Casualties due to OFB manufactured ammunition and armament’, the report notes 27 troops and others have been killed in faulty ammunition accidents since 2014, with 159 being seriously injured, including permanent disabilities and loss of limbs.


There have been 13 accidents so far in 2020, though none of them has resulted in a death.


Calculating Rs 960 crore as the monetary write-off as a result of faulty OFB ammunition since 2014, the Army report notes that Rs 658.58 crore worth was disposed of within the ammunition’s shelf life between April 2014 and April 2019, while 303.23 crore worth of mines were disposed of within their shelf life following a major ammunition depot fire in Pulgaon, Maharashtra in 2016.


‘MINI-OFB’ TYPE SUPPLIERS NEEDED


The Army’s exasperation with OFB supplied ammunition has simmered over decades, reaching a breaking point in the last two years, forcing an effort to approach the Indian private sector to meet ammunition needs. But as India Today reported earlier this month, the Army has pulled the plug on five of seven proposals that would have seen private firms step in to keep ammunition supplies running.


However, the effort to get private companies to become ‘mini-OFB’ type suppliers is desperately needed.


Earlier this month, the Army’s ‘ammunition-in-chief’, the Master General Ordnance (MGO) Lt Gen Upadhya said at an industry interaction, “OFB is in any case available to us. We want a parallel capacity to come up. It may not be at the scale of the OFB. But to start with, at least a parallel set up should come and various types of ammunition would then be available from the industry which can then settle down and in the times to come, a scaling up can take place.”


The Army has a difficult situation on its hands, and one that needs to be navigated tactfully. On the one hand, pushback against the OFB goes directly against the MoD itself, even though the latter has begun a process of modernisation of the OFB.


Just this month, the Ministry of Defence appointed a KPMG-led consortium to advise the government on how to lift the OFB out of its legacy socialist structures and to corporatise it. OFB unions at factories across the country have aggressively opposed the corporatisation drive.


On the other hand, the effort to include private sector firms has largely been one step forward and two back, with several companies — both big and small — expressing willingness to invest in capacity to produce and supply ammunition, but require a degree of clarity and assurance of orders, since they do not have the financial cushion and leeway enjoyed by state-owned concerns like the OFB.


What the numbers in the new Army report indicate is that things have come to a head. And with India’s forces massed on the border in a war-like situation that will almost definitely stretch into the foreseeable future, the Army hopes the glaring numbers will force a solution to its decades-old ammunition quality, shortage and assurance problems.
Don't the army have some funds to clear purchases of some small private players with many firms showing interest? Does army have to run to govt for purchase of even small pins? Is there no concept in army called limited autonomy of say automatic approval without needing govt approval for small purchases worth less than 100 crores or so? If there is zero autonomy, then it's really bad. If it's there upto some extent.. why isn't army doing something about it instead of crying over spilled milk?
 

ezsasa

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Don't the army have some funds to clear purchases of some small private players with many firms showing interest? Does army have to run to govt for purchase of even small pins? Is there no concept in army called limited autonomy of say automatic approval without needing govt approval for small purchases worth less than 100 crores or so? If there is zero autonomy, then it's really bad. If it's there upto some extent.. why isn't army doing something about it instead of crying over spilled milk?

Galwan Valley clash: Govt grants emergency financial powers ..

Read more at:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...ofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
 

aerokan

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Galwan Valley clash: Govt grants emergency financial powers ..

Read more at:
http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/...ofinterest&utm_medium=text&utm_campaign=cppst
This should be a regular feature rather than an emergency power. Give them limited autonomy to purchase upto a limit and if the procurement vendor is a desi provider.. they should get automatic approval within 30 days unless the deal is rejected by govt/MOD. Audits should be part of the approval process and the individuals should get fast track promotions based on the soundness of their decisions experimental or otherwise when the appraisal cycle comes in. It helps to bring out good leaders to the front.

In this case, army can fund a private 'mini-skunkworks' style division for private players take off and might even get some return discounts if it works.
 

Bhadra

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Indian Military has loads of foreign dalals... we can all see examples of ex army chutla and swinie...
pretty sure a hit job on indigenous devleopments
Why not say same thing about DRDO and OFB ?

Army is no where involved in a barrel bursting? No amount of trick can do that unless the round was loaded shell facing the chamber. Moreover, DRDO was carrying out trail.

Lots of nonsense being peddled around.

I say the foreign agents bribed DRDO and OFB to sabotage the project to force MoD to look for imports. Can you deny that... All OFB and DRDO are corrupt fudas... deny it...

And you are acting like a "jhalli Janaani",
 

Hari Sud

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Internal sabotage is a possibility. As Bhadra has said in his above post. This disease of Dalals is not leaving India and its military procurement business.
 

Dessert Storm

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Barrel burst with 7 charges when designed for six is an over reaction. The gun is very light, made of Titanium hence instead of making 48 km with 7 charges makes 42km with 6 charges, it is still alright. This light gun very useful for LAC hence sending it back to the drawing board is a view of the arms merchants who wish this program be stopped in favour of their hardware. Moreover, it may be a storm in a tea cup and the whole issue may narrow down to a bad shell used in the gun. OFB has to be privatized fast.
Maybe you are confusing ATAGS with Kalyani ULH. Or are you saying that even the ULH has had a barrel burst?
 

Shashank Nayak

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ATAGS was in news and that is what I meant.
ATAGS is heavier than other guns of its class. ATHOS weighs 13 tons.. Bharat 52 weighs 15 tons... And Bharat Forge said the barrel is made to withstand pressure from charge 7 ammunition
 

Flying Dagger

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ATAGS is heavier than other guns of its class. ATHOS weighs 13 tons.. Bharat 52 weighs 15 tons... And Bharat Forge said the barrel is made to withstand pressure from charge 7 ammunition
If we can increase the indigenous content to 100 with ATHOS should pay the license and TOT fee and build them here if final price is similar.

Bharat -52 /ULH should be asked to use the tot to reduce the weight and lmprove efficiency. They can build the rest needed.

If we wait for DRDO they will take another 4-5 years and then will come up with a 20 T ATAGS and army will reject it.
 

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