Ordnance parachute factory at Kanpur running into a rough weather

The Army Airborne Training School (AATS) in Agra who has placed the order in August 2007 to deliver it to Mongolia is still awaiting OPF’s ‘satisfactory fitness certificate’ in the matter.

In December 2008, the OPF, Kanpur has dispatched 25 sets of CFF Parachutes worth Rs 1.94 crores to AATS. After going through the consignment AATS found that the quality of all the Parachutes are inferior.

They have intimated the OPF that all the 25 sets of CFF Parachutes were inspected by the Aerial Delivery Research and Development Establishment (ADRDE) officials and they have refused to give their fitness and worthiness approval.

The ADRDE is a laboratory under the Indian Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Agra. The organisation’s primary function is to research and development of aerostats and delivery systems.

All the parachutes were sent back to OPF Kanpur for further rectification. The OPF have dispatched the CFF Parachutes ‘claimed to be after rectification’ to AATS in Agra in January 2010.

Considering India’s prestige, especially when the consignment was meant for Mongolia, the AATS in Agra, without taking any compromise on the quality, further requested the OPF in 2011 to submit all the necessary certificates specifying that the parachutes were fit to be used for combat free-fall in all respects.

Soon, the OPF Management responded that the parachutes had been inspected by Senior Quality Assurance Office (SQAO) and Senior Quality Assurance Establishment-General Stores (SQAE-GS) and the inspection notes were issued by them.

In February 2011, they have also claimed that the consignment was rectified keeping all safety issues and specification in mind.

Unfortunately, even after three year, due to non-submission of necessary certificate by the OPF as asked by the AATS, all the 25 sets CFF Parachutes are yet to be issued to Mongolia.

This is not for first time when such problems cropped up. In July 2010, Director General Infantry pointed out similar defects in 42 Parachutes meant for AATS stating that all the Parachutes are having numerous life threatening defects like tearing of canopies, material cracks in connector links, explosion of oxygen bottle, etc. The problem adversely affected the operational preparedness of the AATS.

With similar problems cropping up again and again when it comes to India’s defence research, its delivery and vendor issues, it is now the concerned ministries to find out the cause of such problems and the bone of contention in between the government organisations involved in the production and quality assurance by the vendors.

The Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) of India has already raised these issues in their latest report and forwarded it to the concerned ministries.
Next Story
Share it