The good old Ordnance Cable Factory (OCF), recently renamed Ordnance Factory Chandigarh (OFCd), sprawling across 40 acres of prime land in Industrial Area Phase I, has set a five year timeline for modernisation to support the production of high-end optics and thermal imaging devices which are finding increasing demand from the defence forces.
In a rare, if not first media interaction by OFCd, its General Manager BP Mishra informed that the Chandigarh factory, which, since its inception in 1963, had been producing specialised communication cables for the Army, capable of withstanding extreme temperatures, from over 50 degrees Celsius in the deserts to below (minus) 50 degrees Celsius on very high altitude locations.
Photo By : Life In Chandigarh
But with several modern technologies coming in, the demand for conventional cables from the Army has been steadily dwindling, hence the need for diversification into optics, high end optics and thermal imaging devices.
OFCd had already diversified its product range from conventional cables to cable harnesses and day vision sights for tanks and other armoured vehicles, he said, adding “Now the infrastructure at the factory is being upgraded and modernised to cater to production of latest weapon sights, thermal imaging sights and missile guiding systems as part of the national agenda for import substitution and self dependence in modern weapon systems.”
He said production of these modern weapon systems is currently being undertaken by the Ordnance Factory Dehradun (OFD), but because of the increasingly high demand it was felt that OFCd should share the burden of adding capacities.
Informing that earlier research and development of weapon systems was the sole domain of Defence Research & Development Organisation (DRDO), but now ordnance factories are also taking on this load in various ordnance development centres being set up within their premises. One such centre has been set up in Chandigarh as well. The successful development of the 155 mm Dhanush artillery gun goes to the credit of one of these ordnance development centres, he pointed out.
Stressing that though OFCd is among the smaller ordnance factories, with just about 450 employees, it has been at the vanguard of technological changes and has produced world class products for the defence forces, he said last year its production was worth Rs 110 crore, and this year it is expected to be in the region of Rs 125 crore. “We are expecting some big orders for hi-tech cables and optics from Government of India,” he added.
Mishra said the factory is credited with executing all Army orders within agreed timelines, and maintaining the highest quality standards. “There’s a complete structure of in-house and external inspection of the production before it is inducted for field use. There has not been a single complaint from field units regarding quality standards of OFCd deliveries,” he asserted.
He emphasised that OFCd is also one of the budget surplus ordnance factories in the country.
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