Ordnance Factories Board
|आयुध निर्माणी बोर्ड
||Ayudh Bhawan, Kolkata
|S. C. Bajpai, IOFS
(Director General Ordnance Factories & Chairman, OFB)
||Small arms, Aircraft weapons, Anti-aircraft warfare, Naval weapons, Anti-ship warfare, Anti-submarine warfare, Anti-tank warfare, Missiles, Missile launchers, Rockets, Rocket launchers, Bombs, Grenades, Mortars, Mines, Military vehicles, Engines, Armoured vehicles, Chemical warfare, Clothing, Artillery, Ammunition, Propellants, Explosives.
||$3 billion (₹19982.71 crores)
Number of employees
Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) (Hindi: आयुध निर्माणी बोर्ड; IAST: Āyudh nirmāṇī borḍ) consisting of the Indian Ordnance Factories (भारतीय आयुध निर्माणियाँ; Bhāratīya āyudh nirmāṇiyān), is an industrial organisation, functioning under the Department of Defence Production of Ministry of Defence, Government of India. It is engaged in research, development, production, testing, marketing and logistics of a comprehensive product range in the areas of air, land and sea systems. OFB comprises forty-one Ordnance Factories, nine Training Institutes, three Regional Marketing Centres and four Regional Controllerates of Safety, which are spread all across the country.
OFB is the world's largest government-operated production organisation, and the oldest organisation run by the Government of India. It has a total workforce of about 164,000. It is often called the "Fourth Arm of Defence", and the "Force Behind the Armed Forces" of India. It is amongst the top 50 defence equipment manufacturers in the world. Its total sales were at $3 billion (₹19982.71 crores) in 2015-'16. Every year, 18 March is celebrated as the Ordnance Factories' Day in India.
The history and development of the Indian Ordnance Factories is directly linked with the British reign in India. The East India Company considered military hardware to be a vital element for securing their economic interest in India and increasing their political power. In 1775, the British East India company accepted the establishment of the Board of Ordnance at Fort William, Calcutta. This marks the official beginning of the Army Ordnance in India.
In 1787, a gunpowder factory was established at Ichapore; it began production in 1791, and the site was later used as a rifle factory, beginning in 1904. In 1801, Gun Carriage Agency (now known as Gun & Shell Factory, Cossipore) was established at Cossipore, Calcutta, and production began on 18 March 1802. This is the oldest ordnance factory in India still in existence.
The growth of the Ordnance Factories Board leading to its present setup has been continuous but sporadic. There were eighteen ordnance factories before India became independent in 1947 and twenty-three factories have been established after independence, mostly in the wake of defence preparedness imperatives brought about by the wars involving India.
- Main Events
- 1801 – Establishment of Gun Carriage Agency at Cossipore, Kolkata.
- 1802 – Production begins at Cossipore on 18 March.
- 1906 – The Administration of Indian Ordnance Factories comes under a separate charge as "IG of Ordnance Factories".
- 1933 – Charged to "Director of Ordnance Factories".
- 1948 – Placed under direct control of Ministry of Defence.
- 1962 – Department of Defence Production was set up at Ministry of Defence.
- 1979 – Ordnance Factories Board is established on 2 April.
Infrastructure and leadership
- Armoured Vehicles Headquarters, Chennai (AVHQ)
- Ordnance Equipment Factories Headquarters, Kanpur (OEFHQ)
- Ordnance Factory Cell, New Delhi (OFBDEL)
- Ordnance Factory Cell, Mumbai (OFBMUM)
- Ordnance Factories Recruitment Board, Nagpur (OFRB)
- Ordnance Factory Board, Kolkata (OFBHQ)
The Apex Board is headed by the Director General of Ordnance Factories (DGOF), who acts as the Chairman of the Board (ex officio Secretary to Government of India) and consists of nine other Members, who each hold the rank of Additional DGOF. Ordnance Factories are divided into 5 operating divisions, depending upon the type of the main products/technologies employed. These are :
- Ammunition and Explosives (A&E)
- Weapons, Vehicles & Equipment (WV&E)
- Materials and Components (M&C)
- Armoured Vehicles (AV)
- Ordnance Equipment Group of Factories (OEF)
Each of the above group of factories is headed by a Member/Additional DGOF. The four remaining Members are responsible for staff functions, viz Personnel (Per), Finance (Fin), Planning & Material Management (P&MM), Technical Services (TS) and they operate from Kolkata.
- Ammunition Factory Khadki, Pune (AFK)
- Cordite Factory Aruvankadu (CFA)
- Engine Factory Avadi, Chennai (EFA)
- Field Gun Factory, Kanpur (FGK)
- Gun Carriage Factory Jabalpur (GCF)
- Grey Iron Foundry, Jabalpur (GIF)
- Gun and Shell Factory, Kolkata(GSF)
- Heavy Alloy Penetrator Project Tiruchirappalli (HAPP)
- High Explosives Factory, Pune (HEF)
- Heavy Vehicles Factory, Chennai (HVF)
- Machine Tool Prototype Factory, Mumbai (MPF)
- Metal and Steel Factory, Kolkata (MSF)
- Ordnance Clothing Factory Avadi, Chennai (OCFAV)
- Ordnance Cable Factory Chandigarh (OCFC)
- Ordnance Clothing Factory Shahjahanpur (OCFS)
- Ordnance Equipment Factory Kanpur (OEFC)
- Ordnance Equipment Factory Hazratpur, Firozabad (OEFHZ)
- Ordnance Factory Ambernath, Mumbai (OFA)
- Ordnance Factory Ambajhari, Nagpur (OFAJ)
- Ordnance Factory Bhandara (OFBA)
- Ordnance Factory Bhusawal (OFBH)
- Ordnance Factory Bolangir (OFBOL)
- Ordnance Factory Kanpur (OFC)
- Ordnance Factory Chandrapur (OFCH)
- Ordnance Factory Dumdum, Kolkata (OFDC)
- Ordnance Factory Dehu Road, Pune (OFDR)
- Ordnance Factory Dehradun (OFDUN)
- Ordnance Factory Itarsi (OFI)
- Ordnance Factory Khamaria, Jabalpur (OFK)
- Ordnance Factory Katni (OFKAT)
- Ordnance Factory Muradnagar (OFM)
- Ordnance Factory Project Nalanda (OFN)
- Ordnance Factory Project Korwa (OFPKR)
- Ordnance Factory Project Medak (OFPM)
- Ordnance Factory Tiruchirappalli (OFT)
- Ordnance Factory Varangaon (OFV)
- Opto Electronics Factory, Dehradun (OLF)
- Ordnance Parachute Factory, Kanpur (OPF)
- Rifle Factory Ishapore, Kolkata (RFI)
- Small Arms Factory, Kanpur (SAF)
- Vehicle Factory Jabalpur (VFJ)
- Ordnance factory Jamshedpur
Each Ordnance Factory is headed by a General Manager who is in the rank of Additional Secretary to Government of India.
- National Academy of Defence Production, Nagpur (NADP)
- Ordnance Factories Institute of Learning Ambajhari, Nagpur (OFILAJ)
- Ordnance Factories Institute of Learning Ambernath, Mumbai (OFILAM)
- Ordnance Factories Institute of Learning Avadi, Chennai (OFILAV)
- Ordnance Factories Institute of Learning Dehradun (OFILDD)
- Ordnance Factories Institute of Learning Ishapore, Kolkata (OFILIS)
- Ordnance Factories Institute of Learning Khamaria, Jabalpur (OFILKH)
- Ordnance Factories Institute of Learning, Kanpur (OFILKN)
- Ordnance Factories Institute of Learning, Medak (OFILMK)
Each OFIL is headed by a Principal Director, and NADP by a Senior Principal Director. NADP provides training to Group A officers, whilst the other eight institutes impart training to Group B and Group C employees of the ordnance factories.
Regional Marketing Centres
- Regional Marketing Centre, Avadi, Chennai (RMCAV)
- Regional Marketing Centre, Delhi (RMCDL)
- Regional Marketing Centre, Pune (RMCPU)
Each Regional Marketing Centre is headed by a Regional Director.
Regional Controllerates of Safety
- Regional Controllerate of Safety Ambajhari, Nagpur (RCSAJ)
- Regional Controllerate of Safety Avadi, Chennai (RCSAV)
- Regional Controllerate of Safety, Kanpur (RCSKN)
- Regional Controllerate of Safety, Pune (RCSPU)
Each Regional Controllerate of Safety is headed by a Regional Controller of Safety.
Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS)
The Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS) (Hindi: भारतीय आयुध निर्माणी सेवा) is a civil service of the Government of India. IOFS officers are Gazetted (Group A) defence-civilian officers under the Ministry of Defence. IOFS is a multi-disciplinary composite cadre consisting of technical – engineers (Civil, Electrical, Mechanical, Electronics), technologists (Chemical, Metallurgical, Textile, Leather) and non-technical/administrative (Science, Law, Commerce, Management and Arts graduates). Technical posts comprise about 87% of the total cadre. The doctors (Surgeons and Physicians) serving in OFB belong to a separate service known as the Indian Ordnance Factories Health Service (IOFHS). IOFHS officers are responsible for the maintenance of health of the employees, and the hospitals of OFB. They report directly to the IOFS officers. IOFS and IOFHS are the only two civil services under the Department of Defence Production.
The recruitment in the Indian Ordnance Factories as a Group A officer is done by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC) based on the performance in the rigorous and prestigious Engineering Services Examination (ESE) and the Civil Services Examination (CSE). Engineering posts are filled through the Engineering Services Examination, while technologists are selected through interviews by UPSC. Posts in the non technical streams are filled through the Civil Services Examination. IOFS is the only cadre in which candidates are selected by all four means – CSE, ESE, interviews and promotions. IOFHS officers are selected through the Combined Medical Services Examination, conducted by UPSC. All appointments to the Group A Civil Services are made by the President of India.
- Hierarchy (Group A)
||Designation in the field
||Designation in Headquarters
|Junior Time Scale
||Assistant Works Manager
||₹15,600-₹39,100 plus grade pay of ₹5400
|Senior Time Scale
||₹15,600-₹39,100 plus grade pay of ₹6600
|Senior Time Scale (Non Functional)
||Deputy General Manager
||₹15,600-₹39,100 plus grade pay of ₹7600
|Junior Administrative Grade (Functional)
||Joint General Manager
||₹37,400-₹67,000 plus grade pay of ₹8700
|Senior Administrative Grade
||Addl. GM / General Manager / Principal Director / Regional Director / Regional Controller of Safety
||Deputy Director General
||₹37,400-₹67,000 plus grade pay of ₹10000
|Higher Administrative Grade
||Senior General Manager / Senior Principal Director
||Senior Deputy Director General
||₹67,000-₹79,000 plus grade pay-Nil
|Higher Administrative Grade (+)
||Addl. Director General & Member of the Board
||₹75,500-₹80,000 plus grade pay -Nil
||Director General Ordnance Factories (DGOF) & Chairman of the Ordnance Factories Board
||₹80,000 (fixed) plus grade pay-Nil
The type of ordnance material produced is very diverse, ranging from various small arms to missiles, rockets, bombs, grenades, military vehicles, armoured vehicles, chemicals, optical devices, parachutes, mortars, artillery pieces plus all associated ammunition, propellants, explosives and fuzes.
Products available to civilians
Civilians are required to hold Arms License (issued only for non-prohibited bore category weapons) in order to buy firearms in India. The following products of the Indian Ordnance Factories Board are available for civilians:
- Cartridge Rimfire .22" Ball
- Cartridge SA .32" Revolver
- Cartridge SA .315" and 30 06 Ball
- Cartridge SA 12 Bore 70mm
- Cartridge SA 12 Bore 65mm Special
Products not available to civilians
These products are exclusively manufactured for use by the armed forces and are not sold to the civilians.
Pistol Auto 9mm 1A, manufactured by RFI
Multi Caliber Individual Weapon System (MCIWS)
84mm Shoulder-fired Rocket Launcher / Recoilless Gun
SAF Carbine 1A1
AGS-30 Automatic Grenade Launcher
Rocket Propelled Grenade Launcher
|Towed & Rocket Artillery
Pinaka rockets manufactured by OFAJ
155mm artillery gun in L39, L45 and L52 caliber configurations
Smerch rockets to be produced at OFAJ and launcher at VFJ
|General Staff and Logistics Vehicles
|Armoured Vehicles and Engines
Bhishma of the Indian Army built at HVF Avadi
Ajeya of the Indian Army built by HVF
Arjun MBT Mark-I, manufactured by HVF Avadi
Bhishma's engine at Engine Factory Avadi
IAF Hind Akbar's rockets, bombs and armaments
IAF Su-30MKI's rockets, bombs, missiles, armaments and parachutes
Indian Army's Dhruv's anti-tank, air-to-air and anti-ship missiles, rockets and torpedoes
AK-230 anti-aircraft gun
RBU 6000 anti-submarine rocket launcher and its depth charges such as RGB-12 and RGB-60
The prime customers of Indian Ordnance Factories are the Indian Armed Forces viz. Indian Army, Indian Navy and the Indian Air Force. Apart from supplying armaments to the Armed Forces, Ordnance Factories also meet the requirements of other customers viz. the Central Armed Police Forces, State Armed Police Forces, Paramilitary Forces of India and the Special Forces of India in respect of arms, ammunition, clothing, bullet proof vehicles, mine protected vehicles etc.
Customers are in the civil sector, central/state government organisations and departments such as Indian Railways, Indian Space Research Organisation, Defence Research and Development Organisation, Liquid Propulsion Systems Centre, Aeronautical Development Agency, Department of Telecommunications, and State Electricity Boards. Public Sector Undertakings in India (PSUs) such as HMT Limited, Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited, Bharat Dynamics Limited, private companies and individuals etc. who purchase industrial chemicals, explosives, arms, ammunition, brass ingots, aluminium alloy products for aircraft, steel castings and forgings, vehicles, clothing and leather goods, cables and opto-electronic instruments.
Arms and ammunition, weapon spares, chemicals and explosives, parachutes, leather and clothing items are exported to more than 30 countries worldwide.
- Asia: Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Myanmar, Vietnam, Nepal, Singapore
- Europe: Germany, Belgium, Cyprus, Greece, Turkey, Russia, Sweden, France, Switzerland, UK
- Middle East: Oman, Egypt, Israel, Saudi Arabia, UAE
- Africa: Kenya, Botswana, Nigeria
- North and Latin America: United States, Canada, Brazil, Chile, Suriname
In spite of highly skilled manpower, latest technologies and huge investments, the Ordnance Factories and their management have often been criticised for their inefficiency, delay in supplies, obsolete and substandard products of much higher costs than those manufactured by their foreign competitors, corruption at all levels including top management and a small volume of exports. The ministerial and bureaucratic hassles, lack of decision making and accountability of the people concerned are often blamed.
To counter the above, talks were held to privatise the Ordnance Factories after witnessing the turnaround of other Indian companies that were converted into PSUs. The Ministry of Defence has always ruled out such a possibility since the Ordnance Factories are the backbone of the Indian Armed Forces and should be controlled solely by the Government of India.
Efforts are being made by the Ordnance Factories to run them at their full capacities, employ and train skilled manpower, efficient usage of the available resources, update and induct new products, provide more sophisticated products, increase and diversify product categories, supply them to the forces on time, stringent quality assurance, JV with foreign and other domestic manufacturers and to increase their overseas presence and exports.
Dating back to more than two centuries and being a manpower extensive, multi-location organisation spread across India, huge number of people from all parts of the country have been associated with the Indian Ordnance Factories. Some families have a history of up to five generations serving the organisation. Few of the people associated with OFB over the centuries:
- Narinder Singh Kapany – Former IOFS officer, FREng, "Father of Fibre Optics", also known as "The Man who Bent Light", invented fibre optics that revolutionalised telecommunication, power transmission, laparoscopic and endoscopic surgery etc. Named as one of the seven "Unsung Heroes of the 20th century" by Fortune magazine for his Nobel Prize deserving invention. Former Professor at Stanford, Universities of California at Berkeley, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz. Has more than 150 patents to his credit.
- Nalini Ranjan Mohanty – Former IOFS officer. Secured All India 2nd Rank in the Engineering Services Examination of 1965, served as the Chairman & Managing Director of Hindustan Aeronautics Limited, Director of Kudremukh Iron Ore Company, Mahanadi Coalfields, National Aluminium Company (NALCO), Bharat Earth Movers (BEML). Awarded Padma Shri in 2004 by the Government of India for his role in the development of LCA – Tejas.
- H. P. S. Ahluwalia – Former IOFS officer, FRGS. Author, Mountaineer, Social Worker. He is the first Indian to climb Mount Everest. Founder & Chairman of Indian Spinal Injuries Centre. Awarded Arjuna Award, Padma Shri and Padma Bhushan by the Government of India. Also served as a Commissioned officer in the Indian Army and Member of Planning Commission (India).
- K. C. Banerjee – Joined as an IOFS officer. Awarded Padma Shri, India's fourth highest civilian honour by the Government of India, presented by the President of India in 1967, for his contributions during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1965 as the General Manager of Rifle Factory Ishapore.
- O. P. Bahl – Served as an IOFS officer. Former Additional Director General Ordnance Factories & Member, Ordnance Factory Board. Awarded Padma Shri in 1972 by the Government of India in the Civil Service category for his efforts during the Indo-Pakistani War of 1971.
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