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Army chief’s new experiment — Major General is CEO of AK-203 rifle factory in Amethi

Major General Sanjeev Sengar has been appointed CEO for 4 years, the first time in decades that a uniformed officer will head an ordnance factory.

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New Delhi: The central government has appointed a Major General of the Indian Army as chief executive officer (CEO) of the Korwa Ordnance Factory in Uttar Pradesh’s Amethi district, which will manufacture AK-203 assault rifles for the military under an Indo-Russia joint venture.

Sources told ThePrint this is the first time in decades that a uniformed officer will head a factory which comes under the Ordnance Factory Board. The move, they said, is the brainchild of Army Chief General Bipin Rawat, and the government accepted it as an experiment.

Major General Sanjeev Sengar has been appointed as CEO of the Korwa factory for a four-year period, and will head a team which will feature a few other serving officers.

The Army has been concerned over low quality and delivery problems when it comes to ordnance factories’ products, so if this new model for the AK-203 factory is successful, it might just pave the way for a new set-up to oversee such factories.

Also read: Here’s all about the AK rifles which India will now make with Russian help

A significant venture

When the joint venture, called the Indo-Russia Rifles Private Limited, was formed earlier this year under the Make in India initiative, the idea was to have an Indian CEO from the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB).

The OFB has a 50.5 per cent stake in the venture, Kalashnikov owns 42 per cent and Rosoboronexport owns 7.5 per cent.

The Russian AK-203 rifle, chambered to fire 7.62×39 mm ammunition (same as the AK-47), is expected to meet the Indian Army’s requirement for 6.5 lakh assault rifles.

This is in addition to the rifles ordered from US manufacturer SIG Sauer in January.

The new guns will replace the 5.56×45 mm INSAS (Indian Small Arms System) rifles, which have been in use for over two decades.

The three services are set to spend at least Rs 12,000 crore to equip their personnel with modern rifles and light machine guns.

Incidentally, while every Indian soldier carries the INSAS rifle, the Army has a concept of sector stores, under which those operating in Jammu and Kashmir and the Northeast are given AK-47s instead of the INSAS.

Also read: PM Modi inaugurates Indo-Russian joint venture, which will end Army’s long quest for rifles


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  1. A welcome change; let’s hope for the best .Also, Ordnance Factories were indeed headed by service officers under British rule ,

    I suspect that entrenced lobbies of vendors, trade unions, and elements within the OFB will work overtime to sabotage the idea . The rot so deep that no immediate solution within the framework of current OFB is feasible.

    Taking a cue from the Boder Roads Organization, it would be worthwhile considering subjecting the workforce to Army Act.

  2. The country needs a real defense policy, no experience. There have been so many experiences, including at the level of military force employment doctrine! The result is a defense policy that does not exist. Who are the winners of this situation?

  3. No change is perfect but this change is least imperfect. An Army person knows that a poor weapon is a death warrant for a soldier. The elephant in the room is undisciplined work force. That’s where the government needs to hold his hand.

  4. An excellent move. Let’s give those guys control of the weapons they protect the nation with which will also ensure they have a better chance of survival while protecting else. It’s responsibility with accountability for a change. None of these duds from the ordnance ever go into war or insurgency areas.

  5. It is one of the best decision as it will bring accountability . Secondly he is from army so he knows quality is of prime importance .

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