After its earlier partners — both foreign firms — were banned by the Defence Ministry, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) Nalanda has begun work to indigenously develop critical components needed for artillery shells, including Bofors guns.
“It has been decided that the Bi-Modular Charge Systems (BMCS) required for firing artillery shells for heavy guns like Bofors will be indigenously developed by OFB Nalanda in Bihar. The technology would be provided by the Nainital-based DRDO laboratory High Energy Materials Research Laboratory (HEMRL),” an OFB official told PTI.
BMCS are the propellant required for firing ammunition of high-calibre howitzers and artillery guns.
The materials and chemicals required for developing BMCS have been developed by other OFBs and a small number of the finished products — in test-tube quantity — have been sent to Balasore in Odisha for Initial Assessment Trials (IAT), officials said.
OFB Nalanda, which has been given the responsibility to produce BMCS, will start operating its first plant by August, they said, adding that the plant will produce some key components required for making the final product.
The IAT has been scheduled for next week, after which the equipment will be subject to the quality parameters set by the Directorate General of Quality Assurance under the Defence Ministry.
These tests will validate the progress made by OFB in making the systems, which will be used as prototypes to be further developed to meet the requirement of the Indian Army, said the officials.