Army to get first batch of Pinaka rockets on Feb 27

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New Delhi, Feb 15 (UNI) The Army will get the first batch of upgraded Pinaka rockets on February 27, the Ordnance Factories Board (OFB) said today.

Addressing a news conference on the eve of the fifth DefExpo-2008 here, OFB chairman Sudipta Ghosh said the Board will supply 300 Pinaka rockets to the Army this year and 1,000 by next year.

This would be another milestone in the OFB's history of more than 200 years, he added.

The OFB chairman will hand over the first batch of Pinaka rockets, developed in collaboration with the DRDO, to Vice Chief of Army Staff Lt Gen Milan Naidu at a ceremony at Ordnance Factory, Chanda in Maharashtra on February 27.

Mr Ghosh said the Ordnance Factory, Trichy, yesterday handed over the first consignment of 10 Anti-Material Rifles to the BSF.

He also said that the ordnance factories have started offering warranty on their products, including small ammunition, bombs, rockets and weapon systems.

All the 40 ordnance factories spread across the country have recently earned the ISO-9002 certificate, the OFB chairman added.

Refuting concerns about the quality of OFB products, Mr Ghosh assured that the malfunctions, if any, were attended to by experts or the product was replaced to the customers' satisfaction.

Revealing plans for the future, he said the ordnance factories were open to the idea of joint ventures as foreign vendors scout for partners to fulfil the offset clause in defence purchases above Rs 300 crore stipulating for ploughing back 30 per cent of the contract money into the country.

The 40 ordnance factories, participating in a big way in DefExpo, the Naval and Land-based weapon systems exposition, will showcase their products alongside major foreign companies in a bid to grab a slice of the emerging markets, Mr Ghosh added.

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