Army issues tender for 7.62mm ammunition from private firms
RFI also specifies annual requirement of the various types
In a move to take forward the long-delayed process of opening up ammunition manufacture to the private sector, the Army has issued a Request for Information (RFI) for procurement of five different types of 7.62mm calibre ammunition to meet the annual requirement for the next 10 years.
The RFI was issued by the Army’s Master General of Ordnance and gets particular focus following the 101 negative import list announced by the Defence Ministry that includes a range of ammunition.
“Various 7.62mm ammunitions as mentioned will have to meet all specifications of in-service ammunitions. All available specifications with Director general Quality Assurance (DGQA) and drawings, where available, with DGQA are proposed to be provided for manufacturers to confirm to, in providing required ammunition,” the RFI issued in August first week says. The technology partners could be indigenous or any foreign vendor.
The five types notified include ammunition for Dragunov sniper rifle and Galil sniper rifle. The RFI also specified the annual requirement of the various types, some of them running into 1-2 million rounds.
The Ordnance factory Board has so far been the manufacturer and supplier of ammunition and efforts to open it to the private sector over the last few years had been delayed. “With the negative import list, the effort should get high priority for the Army to diversify its ammunition procurement,” an industry source said on condition of anonymity.
The last date to respond to the RFI is September 30. The selected manufacturer is expected to commence supply within six months of signing the contract and initial supply may be through Semi Knocked Down (SKD), Completely Knocked Down (CKD) ammunition procured from the Transfer of Technology (ToT) partner. “The subsequent supply of ammunition will be manufactured in India,” the RFI states. It also proposes that the manufacturer develop the infrastructure and absorb the complete ToT for manufacture of ammunition within two years from signing of contract.
It proposes that the manufacturer will ensure continuous availability of minimum one year’s stock components during first two years after signing of contract or 100% indigenisation, whichever is earlier, the RFI said. In case full indigenisation is either not possible or not proposed, from third year the manufacturer fwill have to hold two year’s stock.