OFT develops Gen-X weapons

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Tiruchirapalli, Tamil Nadu, Mar 19: The Ordnance Factory Tiruchirapalli (OFT), in association with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), has developed four new varieties of ultra-modern futuristic weapons for the Indian Armed Forces.

OFT sources told UNI that the new variety of weapons were a 14.5 MM and 20 MM Anti-Material Rifle (named as Vidhwansak), a 40 MM Multi-Grenade Launcher (MGL), a 38 MM Multi-Shell Launcher and a 40 MM Under Barrel Grenade Launcher (UBGL).

The new products would meet the requirements of the armed forces at a cost much lower than the imported weapons, they said.

Giving the details of the new weapons, the sources said the Vidhwansak weapon (14.5 MM caliber) had a maximum range of 1800 metres, while the 20 MM caliber version had 1300 metres. The weapon had the capability to blast the enemy bunkers and radar systems in the battle field.

The production of the two varieties (14.5 MM and 20 MM) began last month and the Border Security Force (BSF) had placed an order for 100 pieces.

Some more trials would be carried out for the Indian Army, who would be a major buyer, they added.

The 40 MM Multi-Grenade Launcher, named UGRA-40, had a high firing rate of 12 rounds per minute, and a range greater than rifle-fired grenade. It had a maximum range of 375 meter and could pierce even a one feet cement concrete wall. It is an ideal weapon for counter insurgency and low intensity conflict operations, the sources said.

The Army and Navy had placed orders for the new weapons and the production would begin next year, they added.

Another weapon developed by the OFT was 38 MM Multi-Shell Launcher, capable of firing rapidly while being easy to operate and carry.

The weapon, with a maximum range of 135 metres and designed to fire Tear Smoke shells and rubber bullets to long ranges is an ideal weapon for riot control.
OFT, which has an inbuilt research and development laboratory, had produced comonents for the 9 MM Carbine and 7.62 MM LMG. The 9 MM Carbine was extensively used by the Indian Army during the Bangladesh liberation war in 1971. The factory started manufacturing Rifle 7.62 MM the popularly known as Self-Loading Rifle (SLR), in 1972.

The SLR, known for its sturdiness and robustness was the mainstay of Indian Armed Forces for over three decades.

It also received wide patronage across all the Central para-military and state police forces.

The factory, under technical collaboration with erstwhile Soviet Union, came out with a good number of new sophisticated weapons like the 12.7 MM Anti-Aircraft Gun, the 14.5 MM Sub-Calibre Device, the 23 MM Ghasha Aviation Gun and the 30 MM Auto Cannon, between 1988 and 1992.

The year 1999 was significant in the history of OFT, as it took up large scale production of the prestigious 5.56 MM rifle, popularly called as Indian Small Arms System (INSAS Rifle), considered more sophisticated than the popular AK rifles.

UNI

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