About OFB


The history and development of Indian Ordnance Factories is directly linked with the British reign in India. East India company of England for their economic interest in India and to increase their political hold considered military hardware as vital element. During 1775 British authorities accepted the establishment of Board of Ordnance in Fort William, Kolkata. This marks the official beginning of the Army Ordnance in India.

In 1787 a gun powder factory was established at Ishapore which started production from 1791 (at which location Rifle Factory was established in 1904). In 1801 a Gun Carriage Agency at Cossipore, Kolkata (presently known as Gun & Shell Factory, Cossipore) was established and production started from 18th March, 1802. This is the first Industrial establishment of Ordnance Factories which has continued its existence till date.

The growth of the Ordnance Factories leading to its present setup has been continuous but in spurts. There were 18 ordnance factories before India became independent in 1947. 21 factories have been established after independence - mostly, in wake of defence preparedness imperatives caused by the three major wars fought by the Indian Armed forces. 40th Factory is under establishment at Nalanda, Bihar.

Main events in the evolution of Ordnance Factory can be listed as below:

  • 1801 - Establishment of Gun Carriage Agency at Cossipore, Kolkata.
  • 1802 - Production started from 18th March 1802 at Cossipore.
  • 1906 - The Administration of Indian Ordnance Factories came under a separate charge as 'IG of Ordnance Factories'.
  • 1933 - Changed to 'Director of Ordnance Factories'.
  • 1948 - Placed under direct control of Ministry of Defence.
  • 1962 - Dept. of Defence Production was set up at Ministry of Defence.
  • 1979 - Ordnance Factory Board came into existence from 2nd April.

Indian Ordnance Factories is a giant industrial setup which functions under the Department of Defence Production of the Ministry of Defence. Indian Ordnance Factories, headquartered at Kolkata, is a conglomerate of 39 Factories, 9 Training Institutes, 3 Regional Marketing Centres and 4 Regional Controller of Safety. There are 39 Ordnance Factories geographically distributed all over the country at 24 different locations. The 40th Factory is being set up at Nalanda in Bihar.

Items produced in Ordnance Factories are highly sophisticated and complex in nature. Also the range of products is simply astonishing. Products span across a wide and exhaustive range of requirements of any armed forces. The plant and technologies have been so chosen as to ensure high degree of quality and reliability and is a unique blend of old and the most modern state-of-the-art CNC technologies. The manufacturing process covers wide spectrum of engineering - Mechanical, Electrical, Metallurgical, Chemical, Textile, Leather, Optics and Electronics.

The prime customers of Indian Ordnance Factories are the Indian Armed Forces. Apart from supplying armaments to the Armed Forces, Ordnance Factories also meet the requirement of other customers viz. Central Paramilitary Forces and State Police Forces in respect of Arms, Ammunition, Clothings, Bullet Proof Vehicles and Mine Protected Vehicles etc. Increase in volume of Export, as an extension to its functioning remains an important objective of Ordnance Factories.

The Apex Board is headed by Director General Ordnance Factories (DGOF) as Chairman and has 9 Members in the rank of Additional DGOF. Ordnance Factories are divided into 5 operating divisions, depending upon the type of the main products/technologies employed. These are :

  1. Ammunition and Explosives (A&E)
  2. Weapons, Vehicles & Equipments (WV&E)
  3. Materials and Components (M&C)
  4. Armoured Vehicle (AV)
  5. Ordnance Equipment Group of Factories (OEF)

Each of the above group of factories is headed by a Member/Additional DGOF. The four remaining Members are responsible for staff functions, viz Personnel (Per), Finance(Fin), Planning & Material Management (P&MM), Technical Services (TS) and they operate from Kolkata.