The Pune-headquartered Defence Public Sector Undertaking (DPSU) Munitions India Limited, which oversees a network of 12 ordnance factories producing ammunition and explosives across the country, has received export orders to the tune of Rs 1,500 crore over the last year since its inception after the corporatisation of the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), the Ministry of Defence said.
With a notification issued on October 1 last year, the Union government had announced the decision to dissolve the erstwhile OFB and constitute seven new DPSUs which would take over the operations of the 41 ordnance factories in the country and their allied facilities. Munitions India Limited (MIL), which is the largest among the seven DPSUs, took over the operations of the 12 factories involved in development, production, testing and marketing of ammunition and explosives for the armed forces and civilian entities.
Last week, Defence Minister Rajnath Singh reviewed the working of the seven DPSUs carved out of the OFB at a meeting organised in New Delhi to mark the completion of one year of their operations. The Defence Minister was briefed by the officials of Department of Defence Production on the progress made by these new DPSUs in the last one year and he also addressed the officers and employees of the seven companies virtually.
Listing various achievements of these DPSUs over the first one year of their operations, MoD said in a press statement that MIL has obtained export orders worth more than Rs 1,500 crore for various types of ammunition in the last one year. Officials said among these orders, one single order was of Rs 500 crore, one of the largest ever export order of ammunition by any Indian entity. Without naming particular countries, the MIL has said, “Our foreign customers include countries located in North America, South America, Europe, Africa and Asia. The patronage we receive from our customers both in India and abroad reflects their faith in the quality of our products and services.”
The MIL group of ordnance factories includes Ammunition Factory Khadki, Cordite Factory Aruvankadu, High Energy Projectile Factory Tiruchirapalli, High Explosive Factory Khadki, Ordnance Factory Bhandara, Ordnance Factory Bolangir, Ordnance Factory Chanda Chandrapur, Ordnance Factory Dehu Road, Ordnance Factory Itarsi, Ordnance Factory Khamaria, Ordnance Factory Nalanda and Ordnance Factory Varangaon.
The 12 factories under the MIL are involved in production of small, medium and high calibre ammunition, mortars, rockets, hand grenades and also manufacturing of onitiatory explosives, propellants and explosives. The MoD said that MIL has also achieved a milestone as it successfully proof-fired new variants of Pinaka Rocket which is Pinaka Mk-I Extended Range and Dual Purpose Improvised Conventional Munitions (DPICM), which are specially designed warheads. MIL has also successfully developed 40 mm Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL) ammunition, 500 kilogram General Purpose Bomb and various Super Rapid Gun Mount SRGM and High Explosive Dual Purpose Ammunition.
After reviewing the performance of the DPSU’s last week, the Defence Minister had said, “Defence manufacturing is an important sector to achieve the goal of self-reliance. The Ministry of Defence has set a target of achieving a turnover of Rs 1.75 lakh crore in aerospace and defence goods and services by 2025, which includes exports of Rs 35,000 crore. The DPSUs must strive to achieve the goal and take the country to newer heights,”
The MoD has said that against the production achievement of approximately Rs 5,028 crore for the period April 1, 2021 to September 30, 2021, the new DPSUs have reported production achievement of more than Rs 6,500 crore in first six months of financial year 2022-23. “Post corporatisation, the new entities have shown marked improvement in productivity and quality in the changed corporate set up. In the Financial Year 2021-22, out of seven companies, six have indicated profits based on the provisional financial statements,” the ministry said.