SHARANG ARTILLARY GUN
Context: The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) handed over Sharang, the first 130mm M-46 artillery gun upgraded to 155mm to the Indian Army. What is SHARANG?
Sharang is the 130mm artillery gun ‘up-gunned’ to 155mm, 45 calibre up-gunning based on the Army’s tender.
The gun’s range has now gone from 27 km to over 36 km with the upgrade. It also has more explosive capability and hence and more damage potential. In all, OFB will upgrade 300 130mm guns to 155mm and the contract will be completed in 4 years. This step will reduce the logistic trail of the Army as it does away with the need to carry 130mm shells and support equipment as the mainstay of the Army’s long range artillery is 155mm guns. BACKGROUND In October 2018, Ministry of Defence and the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board signed agreements to upgrade the artillery guns. The Sharang upgrade kit costs less than 7- lakh rupees per gun. ABOUT ORDINANCE FACTORY BOARD (OFB) It 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 is the world’s largest government-operated production organisation, and the oldest organisation run by the Government of India. The Ordnance Factory Board was set up in 1775 at Fort William, Kolkata. The Board governs around 41 factories of India at 24 different location. There are 10 such factories in Maharashtra, 9 in UP, 6 in MP, 6 in TN, 4 in West Bengal, 2 in Uttaranchal, 1 in Telangana, Chandigarh, Bihar and Odisha. It is often called the “Fourth Arm of Defence”, and the “Force Behind the Armed Forces” of India. OFB is the 37th largest defence equipment manufacturer in the world, 2nd largest in Asia, and the largest in India. 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. 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. Headquarters: It has its headquarters as follows:
- OFB’s office at Esplanade, Kolkata
- Armoured Vehicles Headquarters, Chennai (AVHQ)
- Ordnance Equipment Factories Headquarters, Kanpur (OEFHQ)
- Ordnance Factory Board, New Delhi Office (OFBNDO)
- Ordnance Factory Cell, Mumbai (OFBMUM)
- Ordnance Factories Recruitment Centre, Nagpur (OFRC)
- Ordnance Factory Board, Kolkata (OFBHQ)
Every year, 18 March is celebrated as the Ordnance Factory Day in India.