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Barrel explosion: manufacturer rules out quality defect

Kalyan Ray, New Delhi, DH News Service, Sep 15 2017, 2:10 IST
Mukherjee said OFB specialists are part of the team that is probing the bursting of the barrel of one of the M-777 guns during the trial in Pokhran. File photo for representation

Mukherjee said OFB specialists are part of the team that is probing the bursting of the barrel of one of the M-777 guns during the trial in Pokhran. File photo for representation

Days after the barrel of an M-777 ultra-light weight howitzer exploded, the Indian ammunition manufacturer ruled out quality issues.

“There is absolutely no cause for worry on the quality of ammunition being manufactured at OFB units. Standard operating procedures on production, quality and safety are adhered to by all OFB units,” Uddipan Mukherjee, public relations officer of the Ordnance Factory Board, told DH.

The board, under the defence ministry, runs 41 factories to manufacture sundry arms and ammunition for the armed forces.

Mukherjee said OFB specialists are part of the team that is probing the incident where one barrel of the M-777 guns exploded during a trial in Pokhran.

“The OFB team has visited the site and is participating in a joint investigation along with BAE Systems to investigate the causes leading to the incident. The ammunition used in M-777 gun had undergone the required quality tests,” he
said.

Three OFB factories in Ambajhari and Chandrapur in Maharashtra and Bolangir in Odisha were involved in manufacturing the ammunition.

In December, India inked a $ 737 million (about 4,700 crore) deal with the US to purchase 145 M-777 howitzers from BAE Systems in a government-to-government contract.

In May 2017, the Army received the first two artillery guns which were put through a rigorous trial in order to prepare a range-table for the new howitzer. The trial was to continue till September end.

These are India’s first acquisitions for a new artillery system since the purchase of the Bofors guns for the
army.

DH News Service

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