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Update: India dissolves OFB, sets up new defence firms

In 2020-21 the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) posted turnover of INR146.35 billion (USD1.98 billion). (Indian Ministry of Defence)

The Indian government has established seven companies to undertake the industrial activities of the 41 defence factories operated by the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

A notice issued by the Ministry of Defence (MoD) on 27 September said these new government-owned firms will oversee the “management, control, operations, and maintenance” of the OFB factories from 1 October.

According to the MoD, the seven companies will have a combined authorised share capital of INR912 billion (USD12.4 billion) and net assets of about INR793 billion. The move increases the number of India's defence public sector undertakings (DPSUs) to 16.

“The government of India has decided to transfer all assets and liabilities of the OFB to the new DPSUs,” said the MoD notice. It said that from 1 October the OFB “shall cease to exist as a body”.

The restructure is focused on seven OFB segments: ammunition and explosives; vehicles; weapons and equipment; ancillary products; opto-electronics; clothing; and parachutes.

The biggest company to emerge from the restructure will be Munitions India Limited, which will produce ammunition and explosives and have assets of INR363.3 billion. This company will be headquartered in Pune and will operate 12 existing OFB factories.

Kanpur-based Advanced Weapons and Equipment India Limited will comprise eight OFB factories and have assets worth INR122.2 billion. It will also assume management of OFB's joint venture with Russia, Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited (IRRPL).

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