A STATE-OF-THE-ART electronic artillery fuse manufacturing facility was launched at the Pune unit of Bharat Electronics Ltd (BEL) on October 27.
The development comes after a ‘compliance report’ from the Comptroller and auditor general (CAG) of India, which was tabled before the Parliament in July this year, revealed 83 per cent shortage of artillery fuses with the Army.
Artillery fuses, known as the brain of the munition, are the devices that initiate explosion. They also determine how the explosion would be initiated — on contact with the target or some time after the launch.
Meanwhile, officials from the BEL said the newly-inaugurated facility can produce at least 50,000 fuses per month and the capacity can be increased as per requirement. The facility, located on the BEL campus, on Pashan NDA Road in Pune, was inaugurated by Lt General Shamsher Singh, director general of quality assurance, along with MV Gowtama, chairman and managing director, BEL, and Nataraj Krishnappa, director, Maj Gen Sanjay Chauhan, controller (ammunition) and Dinesh Batra, general manager, BEL, Pune. Capt Raju Kothari, deputy general manager, compered the inaugural ceremony.
Senior scientists from the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) laboratories and representatives of various defence establishments, involved in the process of manufacturing fuse were also present at the function.
A senior BEL official said, “Pune unit of the BEL, headquartered in Defence Public Sector Undertaking in Bengaluru, which has a multi-product facility that manufactures laser-based range finding equipment, power packs for wireless radio sets, infantry combat vehicle-based Nuclear Biological Chemical and reconnaissance systems, along with X Ray baggage scanners. The facility has diversified into the field of electronic artillery fuses. BEL has nine manufacturing units spread all over the country.”
“The newly-inaugurated facility has a capacity to make more than 50,000 electronic fuses per month, and can augment this capacity as per the requirement of the Army. BEL, Pune, also plans to expand the fuse manufacturing capability in the near future. With this facility going online, BEL is confident of fulfilling all the needs of electronic fuses for our artillery, today and in times to come,” he added.
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