Thousands of employees in the two ordnance factories in Tiruchi have derived a sense of pride over the nation-wide recognition of the skills of the workforce in the ordnance units across the country for addressing the challenges posed by the spread of COVID-19 virus.

The ordnance factories started across States since Independence to manufacture indigenously developed arms and ammunitions for the three forces, as war reserve for the nation, have risen to the occasion by fulfilling the need for medical safety gears in enormous quantities. The employees take pride in categorising themselves as the fourth arm of the defence after the army, navy and Air Force, V. Balachandran, National Executive Member of Al India Defence Employees Federation, said.

The employees of Ordnance Factories who have donated two days salary to the PM CARE fund amounting to over ₹30 crore are elated over the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) transforming into a complete combat solution provider.

The latest achievement is development of isolation ward in tent. The Tent Medical 2m (COVID- 19), has provisions for two patient beds and medical equipment. The isolation ward is made of water proof poly viscose fabric of olive green colour, supported by mild steel and aluminium alloy. It has dimensions of 2.05 metre length, 4.66 metre width and 2.8 metres height. The wall height is of 1.9 metre, and the floor area is 9.5 square metre. These isolation beds are being provided to 10 hospitals in six States.

Cordite Factory Aruvankadu, Ordnance Factory, Itarsi (Madhya Pradesh), and Ordnance Factory Bhandara (Maharashtra) can together produce 3,000 litres of sanitiser per day, meeting WHO standards. The Ordnance Equipment Factories located at Kanpur, Shahjahanpur, Hazratpur (Firozabad) and Chennai are engaged in developing coverall and masks. They have also arranged special heat sealing machines for manufacture of these garments at a very short notice.

The OFB has got the samples of the coveralls, designed and produced by the Ordnance Factory, Jajhahanpur, tested successfully at the DRDO establishment in Gwalior. The bulk production of coveralls up to 5,000 to 6,000 pieces per week has started, C. Srikumar the General Secretary of All India Defence Employees Federation, said.

Testing of masks made by Ordnance Clothing Factory, Avadi, Chennai is being undertaken by the South India Textile Research Association (SITRA) in Coimbatore. Three machines have been developed which have been approved by SITRA for testing the efficacy of coveralls and masks.

OCF, Avadi, has received orders to manufacture surgical and non-surgical masks in lakhs. The most essential and life-saving medical instrument, the Non-Invasive Ventilator has also been designed and started production in Ordnance Factory, Medak, and Machine tool Prototype Factory, Ambernath, Mumbai. The Ordnance Factory, Ambernath, has produced aluminium stretchers to carry the COVID-19- affected patients, Mr. Srikumar said.