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Army seeks defence ministry's intervention for supply of better ammunition

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

The has sought immediate intervention of the to check rising cases of accidents involving battle tanks, artillery and air defence guns due to "poor quality" of being supplied to it by the state-run (OFB), official said.

They said the has specifically raised the issue with (Defence Production) Ajay Kumar, saying poor quality of has been causing damage to a range of key weapons of the in the past few years, they said.

Following the Army's request, the examined the issue and found that has not been pro-active in improving quality of the to contain accidents caused by faulty ammunition, the said.

The operates 41 ordnance factories across the country and functions under the department of defence production of the

When contacted, the said it supplies ammunition to after through inspection by its (DGQA).

It said all input material are tested in designated laboratories and a series of specific tests are conducted before ammunition is supplied to the Army.

The Army also presented a report to the ministry listing incidents of accidents involving main guns of the and and the Arjun main battle tanks besides 105mm Indian field guns, 105mm light field guns, 130mm MA1 medium guns and 40mm L-70 air defence guns, primarily due to faulty ammunition, they said.

The Army also cited a number of incidents in which army personnel were injured due to faulty ammunition.

said the Army was very serious about the issue and requested the take appropriate initiatives to improve quality of ammunition being supplied to the force.

OFB said it is "responsible for manufacturing and up to dispatch of ammunition and is not aware of the storage/ handling/ maintenance conditions at Army's end which are equally responsible for defects/accidents."

"Unlike other products, ammunition is single-use item. For this reason, 100 per cent inspection including dynamic proof cannot be carried out. A principle of Statistical Quality Control (SQC) is employed for final acceptance of ammunition. SQC is inherently associated with both producer's risk and customer's risk," it said.

In September 2017, the Army's long-range ultra-light (ULH) howitzer M-777 was damaged during a field trial in Pokhran and the US manufacturer as well as the Army had indicated that the gun exploded due to faulty ammunition.

In August 2017, the defence ministry sacked 13 senior officers employed with ordnance factories after finding their overall performance "unsatisfactory".

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, May 14 2019. 16:26 IST