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Mani asked: What are the steps being taken to ensure the quality of ammunition from OFB?

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  • Laxman Kumar Behera replies: The ammunition or for that matter any defence item produced by the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) goes through an elaborate process of quality assurance/quality check (QA/QC). The quality control department of the concerned factory of the OFB is responsible for the quality of ammunition supplied. The Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA), an attached agency of the Department of Defence Production (DDP), Ministry of Defence (MoD) is involved as a 2nd party quality assurance agency. Before an item is recommended for induction into the armed forces, some of the steps involved in QA/QC are:

    • Field Evaluation Trial (FET) by the User
    • Directorate General Quality Assurance (DGQA) Evaluation
    • Maintainability Evaluation Trial (MET)
    • General Staff Evaluation as per the General Staff/Qualitative Requirements promulgated by the Service Headquarter (SHQ).

     

    In spite of the elaborate process, during exploitation of ammunition by the user, defects/accidents are observed. In the absence of any enquiry report being available in the public domain, it is difficult to state the exact cause of defects or accidents. Improper storage/handling/maintenance after the dispatch of ammunition could also be a factor for defects/accidents. The OFB on its part has resorted to ‘redbox’ concept by which items supplied are tested by it. As per this concept, the quality rating of ammunition was found more than 99 per cent (See Forty-Third Report of the Standing Committee on Defence, Sixteenth Lok Sabha, Paras 1.12-1.14, March 2018, pp. 10-12).

    Posted on June 30, 2020

    Views expressed are of the expert and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Manohar Parrikar IDSA or the Government of India.

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