Ministry of Defence,
Government of India
New Delhi – 110 011
Sub :- Revitalisation of Army Base Workshops.
This Federation has been receiving regular inputs regarding deteriorating conditions of the Army Base Workshops, non-availability of spares on time, huge backlog in repairs and overhaul of vehicles and equipments.
In view of the above, as a responsible, recognised Federation of Defence Civilians, we felt it necessary to study the issue and bring forward certain salient aspects to your kind notice for remedial measures.
There are eight Army Base Workshops, of which seven are responsible for repair and overhaul of equipment/ weapons and one workshop has been tasked with the responsibility of indigenisation and manufacture of spares.
The Indian Army has a large inventory of weapon systems and equipment which need to be maintained and sustained in battle worthy condition. The periodicity of overhauling an equipment is based on the maintenance philosophy promulgated at the time of induction for the envisaged life cycle.
As per doctrine published in 2014, the following is the intervention period for maintenance of Class “A” Vehicles.
** For equipment to serve beyond 35 years. Balance Equipment to undergo MR instead and de induct after 35 years
^^ Only for OH-2 equipment and service up to or beyond 40 years.
No overhaul policy for Scania, Kraz-255 B/B1 and Tatra T-815 is available and hence presently, Base workshops are accepting these vehicles of eight years vintage and above for overhaul as per the direction of EME Directorate.
124 numbers of Main Battle Tank (MBT) Arjun were inducted into the Army from 2004-05 onwards. The Tank is due for overhaul from 2020-21. However till date Overhaul agency has not been decided.
A total of 310 T-90 Tanks were initially imported from Russia through a contract signed with the OEM i.e. M/s Rosoboronexport (ROE) in February 2001 and inducted into service during 2001-05. These Tanks are due for overhaul from 2018-19 but till date Overhaul agency has not been decided.
Similarly, for Armoured Recovery Vehicles also, due to short sightness, overhaul plan and/or agency has not yet been decided.
The ARV VT-72 B is a recovery vehicle for Tank T-72. A total of 156 ARVs were procured from M/s Bharat Heavy Electricals Ltd. (BHEL) and inducted into service during the period 1994-2003. As per maintenance philosophy and intervention norms, 129 vehicles inducted up to 2001 were due for overhaul during 2010-15. However, even after 20 years of the induction of the vehicle, no overhaul facility had been created.
Similarly ARV WZT-3 is a recovery vehicle of latest technology available in Indian Army for Tank T-72. During the years 2001-07, 352 ARV WZT-3 were inducted into service through Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML). The equipment were due for overhaul from 2016-17 onwards. However, facility for overhaul has not yet been created.
Project Tulip for establishment of additional facilities at 512 ABW as a nucleus for repairs/overhaul of communication and night vision devices for BMP II/ IIK is still pending since 2003.
A whole lot of examples can be cited to substantiate the assertions that a section of Officials are deliberately trying to destabilise the Army Base Works.
On the other hand, as per the Offsets Policy, a large number of potential Private Sector companies are planning to deploy their offsets obligation in the Maintenance, Overhaul and Repair business due to guaranteed business.
This Federation has therefore viewed the inaction as stated above very seriously and demand that the Army Base Works be revitalised and all pending decisions such as creation of facilities for overhauling of MBT Arjun, T-90, ARVs etc be taken immediately. This will not only assure workmen of the seriousness of the government to protect the workshops, but is also in National Interest.
An early action in the matter is solicited please.
Member/National Council JCM