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Lt Gen JK sharma

Lt Gen JK sharma

Lt Gen JK Sharma is a scholar warrior and senior strategic military leader with close to 42 years of service. An expert on Siachen with two tenures and Ladakh, three tenures, he also took part in counter-insurgency operations in Punjab, J&K and North East. He is an expert on Information Warfare and was part of many committees on the subject while in service. As part of the Directorate of Military Operations for over five years at different levels he has seen through Kargil War, Operation Prakaram, Uri, and many crisis situations of internal conflict and Out of Area Contingency Operations including hostage crisis of Sierra Leone and Lebanon.

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  1. Avatar

    VIPIN KUMAR SINGH

    vERY bIASED ARTICLE.
    SOME FACTUAL MISINFORMATION SPREAD:

    1. THE IRRPL IS BEING HEADED BY A MAJOR GENERAL AND MOD , USER AND RUSSSIA IS NEGOTIATINGthe cost ectc…BIASED TO BRING OFB NAME INTO IT.
    2. INSAS WAS MADE EXACTLY AS PER THE DESIGN GIVEN BY DRDO AND DRDO DESIGNED EXACTLY AS PER THE GSQR OF USER. IF USER IS NOT CLEAR ABT ITS REQT ,…WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR FAILURE…VERY VERY BIASED AND UNJUST TO BLAME OFB FOR INSAS DESIGN /EFFICACY RELATED ISSUES.
    3. FRENCH COMPANIES ARE STILL GOVT OWNED MOSTLY… US STILL HAS ARSENALS OWNED BY GOVERNMENT AND MRUNNING IN GOGO AND GOCO MODEL. SO SAYING THAT PRIVATISATION IS FULL IN EUROPE IS MISLEADING, YES FEW COUNTRIES HAVE ADOPTED BUT EVEN THOSE COUNTRIES ORDERS ARE ALMOST ASSURED TO THESE COMPANIES.
    4. overheads will come aiutomatically down, if OFB has sufficient load….worldwide fluctuating arms order is a problem and govt support is given.. so claiming high overheads with half facts appears to be malignaint.
    5. none of the committee was mandated to look into corporatisation, do you really feel corporatisation is the solution???? why rajdyaksha committee recomendations regarding merger of drdo labs with ofb and integration of accounts and even inspection functions is not be implemented because it affected the backdoor entry of many peace postings.
    6. OFB IS NOT AFRAID OF COMPTETION AND it is evident from the facts that OFB has secured orders while competing with foreign OEM’s e.g. Sharang and is in most cases getting repeat orders from exporting countries ….This speaks volumes about quality and cost of OFB products in present scenario…we must not fall prey to the propaganda by lobbyists….User has floated a lot of enquires may be to the tune of 50 thousand crores but not able to finalise orders …where is the private sectors/….. ofb has never stopped anybody from cometing ….

    I request you to definitely criticise OFB but with proper benchmarks and facts. a responsible person like you presenting half truth may lead to a false opinion making. Every organisation is having problems and OFB is no different .. yes like user organisations and others OFB too needs reengineering but corporatisation with the stated goals appears to be not in sync with defence needs. Every country wants to sell the products not the technology…technology has to be developed inhouse and has a very high cost….all committies more or less makes nair committee as the basis for recommending corporatisation…Nair committee itself is very old and a lot of things have changed… probably now a comprehensive study with prevalent scenario is required before any further action…

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  2. Avatar

    S U

    To kill the lion and rule the jungle.

    No benchmark no data… Just words.

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  3. Avatar

    Vipin Kumar Singh

    Sir
    Why my comment not published??
    Afraid of truth..

    Reply
  4. Avatar

    Mohit

    Dear Gen , do you blame your tap for muddy water or somehow apply your brains too.. OFB is just a tap… If one distributes responsibility as presently done in MOD via vis. Design , manufacturing quality the outcome is any bodies guess… Seek views fr organization behaviour experts

    Reply
  5. Avatar

    Vipin Kumar Singh

    Pl publish my comments else I will share them on social media…along with screen shot

    Reply
  6. Avatar

    Alok

    This is army’s view of things. To know the other side talk to management and unions of OFB. You’ll get to know stories of forces not placing orders on time, changing specs frequently, not budgeting for items in numbers promised earlire. There are instances of OFs asked to make entire assembly lines of items ready and then not being given orders. Also, the forces’ preference for imported items is well known for reasons I will not go into here..

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  7. Avatar

    Admin

    OFB Response

    Official rebuttal of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) by Gagan Chaturvedi, Deputy Director General of Public Relations of the Ordnance Factory Board on behalf of the Director General Ordnance Factories and Chairman of Ordnance Factory Board.

    …………………………………………………………………………………………………..

    The article by Lt Gen JK Sharma (Retd) titled “Burden of OFB: Liability at Armed Forces’ Cost” published on the website of Bharatshakti on the 6th of August is another one in a series of outpourings by retired Generals of the Indian Army offering unsolicited advice based on incomplete and inaccurate information loaded with innuendo, in-exactitude and irony.

    The Ordnance Factories since their inception more than two centuries ago have strengthened the capacity of the State to wage war, both offensive and defensive, and their contribution in every skirmish, battle and war has been appreciated.

    After the Kargil War, the then COAS, Gen. V.P. Malik, in the foreword to the book “Arming the Indian Arsenal” writes:

    “Indian Ordnance Factories which could produce ammunition and some equipment for which they had the necessary technology rose to the occasion. But we faced considerable problems in procuring items that had to be imported at short notice.”

    Further, the 42nd Report of the Standing Committee on Defence, presented on 13.03.2018, the 16th LokSabha recorded as under:

    “OFB products are classic example of successful implementation of ‘Make in India’ programme initiated by the Government as almost 87% items of OFB products are indigenously made.”

    The indigenous content of the products of the Ordnance Factories is over 90% while for ammunition it is 97%.

    More recently the 8th Report of Standing Committee on Defence, presented on 13.03.2020, the 17th Loksabha recorded as under:

    “Ordnance Factories are an integrated base for indigenous production of Defence equipment and ammunition and form the backbone of the country’s Defence Production.”

    In addition, 25% of the revenue of the Ordnance Factories comes from products of in-house R&D.

    The General, goes on to remark that the Ordnance Factory at Korwa has yet to produce a single gun since its establishment in 2007 and bandies the wildly inaccurate figure of 1253 Crores. The factory was established to manufacture the carbine, selected by Indian Army, through ToT. The fact that the Army has been unable to select a suitable carbine for manufacture at Korwa seems to have slipped his mind.

    He goes on to bemoan the tilted playing field in OFB’s favour and reveals his loyalties when he expresses regret that the JV for the manufacture of the latest A.K. 203 rifles was not formed by the Adanis.

    His ramblings about the high cost of the rifle, reveal his lack of appreciation of the fact that the IRRPL is a private entity headed by an Army officer and the price quoted by the company is entirely based on their own calculations.

    The worthy General’s diatribe veers more sharply from the truth when he talks about the Ordnance Parachute Factory which has been supplying Parachutes for seventy-five years without a single incident of Parachute failure. For the very same period that he castigates the factory for not supplying parachutes, the factory registered a growth of 53% in turnover. This could certainly not have been achieved without supplying the parachutes that the author claims were not supplied.

    The statement regarding the Heavy Drop (HD) parachutes is equally inaccurate. OPF has already developed a Heavy Drop Parachute for 3-ton load and has supplied 48 sets. The Heavy Drop Parachute system for 7-Ton has also been cleared trials.

    The reason for delay in Combat Free Fall parachute was essentially due to a large number of design modifications at every stage of manufacture.

    The allegation of OFB inhibiting vendors from supplying parachutes for Chandrayan is laughable. The sharing of the technology for any product is a decision of the DRDO. The Ordnance Factories supplied explosives for Chandrayan and could easily have supplied parachutes too.

    The issue of combat uniforms raised by the author fails to take into consideration the fact that they have to undergo thirty two mandatory quality checks. They are made from dope dyed fabric (where the yarn is dyed before weaving) manufactured by integrated mills, the specifications even lay down the number of stitches per decimeter and all the materials used such as thread, buttons etc. have to be cleared by NABL accredited laboratories. These are hardly the kind of specifications that can be imposed on the friendly cantonment tailor.

    The last word on uniforms is by the erstwhile MGO Lt. Genl. Ravi Thodge, PVSM, AVSM, VSM, SM, who vide his DO letter number 34 775/ RT/ DO dated 20.02.2016, stated as under:

    The uniforms, though stitched at a very short notice, came in for appreciation by all the dignitaries who were present at the COAS ‘At Home’ function which included The Hon’ble President of India The PM, The RM and a host of other dignitaries. As the MGO, my chest swelled with pride to see soldiers so smartly attired in the combat dress which were stitched in your factory. The quality control process in terms of the cloth as well as garmenting is excellent.

    The author’s statements about INSAS rifles are similarly inaccurate.OFB has manufactured and supplied more than 20 Lakh Rifles over a period of more than 20 years to various security forces. The Rifle was designed by DRDO as per QR (Army’s specification) and supplied to the army after inspection by the Army’s representative, the DGQA.

    High overhead costs, mentioned by the author are due to a number of reasons. Commercial considerations underlie corporate attempts to garner competitive advantage. The Ordnance Factories on the other hand are not always able to follow the diktats of commercial prudence. Not only do they provide life time warranty but are also required to keep production lines alive for strategic reasons even in the absence of any load for a number of years or uncertain and uneconomical load.

    Over the years, a number of measures leading to improvements in productivity and quality and strategic make or buy decisions have led to steady increase in cost competitiveness of the products supplied by the Ordnance Factories.

    A comparison of some of the products’ issue prices of 2017-18 and 2018-19 give an indication of the extent of this achievement. For example the reduction in the price of the Bridge Layer Tank is 5% and 7% for the Stallion Mark IV BS-III vehicle and 10% for the LPTA- 715 BS-III, both of which on the work horses for transportation of troops and equipment. In the case of the 84mm High Explosive Anti Tank (HEAT) ammunition and the 155mm Shell the reduction in price is 9.6% and 3% respectively.

    The differences in the cost of some of the successfully indigenised items are encouraging e.g. the indigenous T-90 tank engine handed over to the then Defence Minister, Smt Nirmala Sitharaman in July 2018 is 34% less than the Russian engine. The indigenous Bi Modular Charge System (BMCS) is 20-30% less expensive than the imported one. Similarly, the difference in the case of 84mm (HEAT 551 and the 125mm , Fin Stabilised Armour Piercing Discarding Sabot (FSAPDS) ammunition is 38.6% and 28.5% respectively.

    It is because of this success achieved in pricing products competitively that OFB has secured repeat orders for export of ammunition supplied under self-certification and has also supplied 155mm X 52 calibre barrels and breech mechanism to a major European Manufacturer for the purpose of testing.

    To say the least, OFB also exhibited its capabilities of innovative technological interventions and adaptability for new products during the initial phases of current pandemic. OFB led the nation in manufacture of life saving items in fight of the nation against COVID-19 like sanitizers, three-ply surgical masks, PPE kits and pan India network for testing facilities of PPE kits with seven NABL accredited labs and hand holding of textile industry.

    Deciding a recognized national asset which has over two centuries of recorded achievement by self-styled fly-by-night specialists to earn brownie points and carry favour with vested interests in anticipation of proposed govt policy seems to have become fashionable.

    Let us appreciate that every existing system in the world has scope for improvement with changing circumstances and an ever evolving business environment. 

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