TIRUCHI: The Ordnance Factory of Tiruchi (OFT) has designed and developed an indigenous assault rifle matching the specifications of the AK47.
"When put into use by our armed forces and other security agencies, the rifle will be recognized as pride of India. It has been indigenously developed and has all the features of AK-47,'' said A K Prabhakar, OFT general manager, in an interaction with reporters on the sidelines of OFT Day celebrations. OFT, one among 41 such factories in the country, was established 45 years ago on the outskirts of the city.
To mark the contribution of the Tiruchi factory in developing the rifle, officials have decided to christen it "Trichy Assault Rifle,'' Prabhakar said. Field trials have been done for the 7.62mm caliber rifle with a range of 400 metres. "The rifle has been successfully tried by the Indian Army,'' Prabhakar said. It features a foldable butt and boasts of night vision device besides telescopic day vision system.
OFT has also developed a hand-held multi-shell launcher. The weapon of 38mm calibre with a range of 400 metres could fire six shells at a time. It could be used for firing grenades and tear gas shells.
Prabhakar said this was the first time that OFT was coming out with an "internal security weapon", or a riot control device in common parlance. "One batch of the device has been supplied to CRPF and many states have evinced interest in buying it for their police force,'' he said.
Heavy Alloy Penetrator Project (HAAP), another ordnance unit and the only one in the country to produce anti-tank projectiles, has also received overwhelming response for its indigenous anti-submarine rockets.
HAPP general manager B Pugazhendi said the Indian navy had placed bulk orders for the six-kilometre range anti-submarine rockets named RGB 60 developed by HAPP.
HAPP had dispatched 12 units of RGB 12, another version of the anti-submarine rockets, to the Navy last year. "With inhouse research and development efforts, HAPP has also developed 120mm caliber and 125mm calibre MK-II anti-tank projectiles,'' Pugazhendi said.
HAPP has chalked out a modernization plan for enhancing the production of MK-II projectiles. "Very soon, the blueprint for modernization will be submitted to the ordnance factory board that will in turn forward it to defence ministry for clearance,'' he said.