Ordnance Factory Board

Ordnance Factory Board
Government Organisation
IndustryDefence
Founded1712 [1]
Headquarters
Ayudh Bhawan, Kolkata
Area served
Worldwide
Key people
Hari Mohan IOFS
(Director General Ordnance Factories & Chairman, OFB)[2]
ProductsSmall 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, metals, alloys, machine tools, military vehicles, engines, armoured vehicles, parachutes, optoelectronics, chemicals, clothing, artillery, ammunition, propellants, explosives
Revenue$2 billion (13687.22 crores)
(2017–'18) [3][4][5][6]
Number of employees
~80,000[7]
Websitewww.ofb.gov.in

Ordnance Factory 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.[8][9] Every year, 18 March is celebrated as the Ordnance Factory Day in India.[10][11]

OFB is the world's largest government-operated production organisation,[12] and the oldest organisation run by the Government of India.[13][14] It has a total workforce of about 80,000.[7] It is often called the "Fourth Arm of Defence",[15][16][17] and the "Force Behind the Armed Forces" of India.[18][19]OFB is the 37th largest defence equipment manufacturer in the world, 2nd largest in Asia, and the largest in India.[citation needed] According to a report by SIPRI, India is the largest producer in the category of 'emerging producers' in 2017, with four companies ranked in the Top 100.[20] Their combined arms sales of $7.5 billion in 2017 were 6.1 percent higher than in 2016. The two largest Indian arms producers, Indian Ordnance Factories and Hindustan Aeronautics are the highest ranking (37th and 38th respectively) companies in 2017 among countries in the emerging producers’ category. The report also says that the arm sales of OFB have increased by 8.5% in the year of 2017-18. OFB's arms sales are 96% of its total sales in the year of 2017.[21][5][22] Its total sales were at $2 billion (13687.22 crores) in the year 2017–'18.[3][4]

History

Origins

Ordnance Factory Board predates all the other organisations like the Indian Army and the Indian Railways by over a century. The first Indian ordnance factory can trace its origins back to the year 1712 when the Dutch Ostend Company established a Gun Powder Factory in Ichhapur. In 1787, another 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.[23]

Contributions

The Indian Ordnance Factories have not only supported India through the wars, but played an important role in building India with the advancement of technology and have ushered the Industrial Revolution in India starting with the first modern steel plant of India much before Tata Steel,[24] first modern electric textile mill of India, first chemical industries such as smokeless propellant plants of India,[25] established the first engineering colleges of India as its training schools,[26] played key role in the founding of research and industrial organisations like ISRO, DRDO, BDL, BEL, BEML, SAIL, etc.[24]

Timeline

  • 1712 – Establishment of the Dutch Ostend Company's Gun Powder Factory at Ichhapur.[1]
  • 1775 – Establishment of the Board of Ordnance at Fort William, Kolkata.
  • 1787 – Establishment of the Gun Powder Factory at Ishapore.
  • 1791 – Production of Gun Powder begins at Ishapore.
  • 1801 – Establishment of Gun Carriage Agency at Cossipore, Kolkata.
  • 1802 – Production begins at Cossipore on 18 March.
  • 1935 – Indian Ordnance Service was introduced to administer the whole Defence Production Industry of India.
  • 1954 – Indian Ordnance Service (IOS) renamed to Indian Ordnance Factories Service (IOFS).
  • 1979 – Ordnance Factory Board is established on 2 April.