The Indian Ordnance Factories Organisation (lOFs), which has been the backbone of India's Defence Production, will be completing 200 years of existence on 18th March 2002.

The lOFs have come a long way from the unit called Gun & Shell Factory which started functioning on the banks of river Hooghly in Cossipore, Calcutta on 18th March 1802. Today it consists of 39 production units spread across the length and breadth of the country and employs a workforce of 1.4 lakhs. Some of the factories of the Organisation are among the oldest industrial establishments in the country.

The Ordnance Factories play a vital role in equipping the Armed Forces with weapons, ammunitions tanks etc. Investments on their infrastructure stem from national security and strategic needs. The objective of the organisation is to meet the requirements of the armed forces, particularly of the army, for conventional lethal and non-lethal hardware. The factories also produce military transport vehicles, infantry combat vehicles, armoured vehicles, optical and opto-electronic instruments, field cables, summer and winter uniforms, tentages, parachutes, miscellaneous leather goods, floats, bridges, general stores, civil blasting explosives etc. Facilities also exist for design and manufacture of captive special purpose machine tools for production of arms and ammunition components.

Besides supply of arms, ammunition and other items to the Armed Forces, the needs of police and the para military organizations are also catered to. Items are also produced for the Railways, Public Sector Undertakings and other Government Departments. The Ordnance Factories have taken up continuous upgradation of products and manufacturing technologies to meet emerging requirements of the Defence Forces.

Perhaps the greatest achievement of the lOFs is the trust and confidence that they have instilled among our Armed Forces, who are the actual users of their products. The Department of Posts is happy to issue a postage stamp on the occasion of the 200th anniversary of Indian Ordnance Factories Organisation. The stamp design shows Tank Ajeya, one among the latest products of lOFs in the foreground, with a gun carriage from the. olden days in the background.

Date of Issue: 18.3.2002