One of the biggest defence production establishments in Telangana and the only one in the country making armed combat vehicles, Ordnance Factory Medak, will be seen in a new role as it has been amalgamated into the newly-formed Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (AVNL) to be headquartered in Chennai (Avadi) from October 1.
All the 3,000-odd employees will be deputed and transferred into this new defence unit, one of the seven recently-formed after rejig of Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) headquartered at Kolkata, a few days ago. The Medak unit is among the 41 factories under OFB and its foundation stone was laid by the then Prime Minister Indira Gandhi and the first vehicle was rolled out in 1987 with technology assistance from Soviet Union and later the Russians, informed senior officials on Thursday.
Ever since for the last 37 years, it has been in the forefront in making armoured personnel carriers of various kinds with lot of indigenous technology inputs, including mine proof, bullet proof vehicles and those on reconnaissance missions and missile launch vehicles. OF-M has been collaborating with DRDO armament and combat engineering cluster like the Combat Vehicle Research Development Establishment at Chennai and the Vehicle Research Development Research Establishment at Ahmednagar.
Armoured Engineering Reconnaissance Vehicle with amphibious movement capabilities and another set to be able to detect biological, nuclear or chemical attacks are part of its production with the factory having the latest steel casting and aluminium foundry, heavy machining and assembly lines, precision cutting machines and castings.
Senior officials said high altitude and futuristic combat vehicles with night vision capabilities are being made following the recent border skirmishes with the Chinese. Till date, it is said to have rolled out more than 3,000 armoured vehicles with annual turnover of more than 100 with works on to double the capacity. Earlier this year, it has received the defence ministry order of about 150 combat vehicles.
The first ordnance factory was set up in Cossipore near Kolkata in 1801 and hence, the lineage can be traced to the British times but now the government wishes to make it easier for private sector participation under the public, private partnership for developing futuristic armoured vehicles in a more competitive manner, they added.
OF-M will now be part of three other firms in AVNL – Engine factory and heavy vehicle factory at Avadi, Machine Tool prototype factory at Ambernath (Maharastra) and vehicle factory at Jabalpur (Madhya Pradesh).
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