Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate seven new defence companies and dedicate them to the nation on the occasion of Vijayadashami around noon on 15 October, the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said on 14 October. The PMO stated that the government has decided to convert the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) from a department into seven fully government-owned corporate entities to improve self-reliance on the country’s defence preparedness.
This corporatisation of companies will enhance autonomy and efficiency and will unleash new growth potential and innovation, it said.
There have been crucial developments in the indigenous artillery sector over the last decade. There are now four gun production hubs in five states in the country. Firms like L&T, Tata Advanced Systems and Bharat Forge have set up gun production lines within the country to compete with the erstwhile monopoly, state-owned ordnance factories.
The army’s DG (artillery), Lt General TK Chawla, had earlier said that the Army was ‘hand holding’ the domestic industry to ensure indigenous projects like the Advanced Towed Array Gun System and the OFB-produced Dhanush howitzer meet their requirements. This year, as part of its defence indigenisation drive, the Ministry of Defence banned the imports of 155 mm howitzers after December 2021. The army will have no choice but to turn to the indigenous gun industry.
The seven new companies are expected to provide a boost to the defence sector in the country.
The seven new defence companies that have been incorporated are Munitions India Limited (MIL), Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (AVANI), Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited (AWE India), Troop Comforts Limited (TCL), Yantra India Limited (YIL), India Optel Limited (IOL), and Gliders India Limited (GIL), the PMO’s statement read.
Defence Minister Rajnath Singh and representatives from the defence industry associations will be present at the launch of the companies.