One FIR, Govt blacklists 7 firms, hits artillery upgrade
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Incidentally, all three Indian firms blacklisted Thursday are also involved in the manufacture of ammunition components for the 155 mm artillery guns of the Army. The companies barred from business are:
Israeli Military Industries, Israel: The small arms manufacturer recently bagged a Rs 1,200-crore deal to set up a ammunition factory in Nalanda. It manufactures well-known small arms including the Uzi submachine gun, the Tavor assault rifle and the Desert Eagle revolver. In 2002, India signed a Rs 90-crore deal to procure over 3,000 Tavor rifles for its special forces from IMI.
Singapore Technologies: The Singapore-based firm manufacturers small arms and artillery systems, mainly for its parent country. The firm has a joint venture with OFB on small arms and the two have jointly developed a carbine, the SAR 21 MMS for sale to Indian defence and paramilitary forces. It was the frontrunner in a Rs 5,000-crore tender to provide 155 mm light howitzers for the Army.
T S Kishan and Co Pvt Ltd: A Delhi-based firm, it manufactures explosive shells for the 155 mm Bofors guns in service with the Army. It has a tie-up with OFB for manufacturing sub-components of the artillery ammunition.
R K Machine Tools: The Ludhiana-based company supplies critical components to the OFB including 120 mm shells and varieties of 155 mm ammunition and flares.
Media Architects Pvt Ltd: The Singapore-based firm specialises in new media technologies and is the distributor of several software packages.
HYT Engg: The Pune-based firm is also involved in manufacture of 155 mm components for the Army.
The Ministry of Defence spokesperson Sitanshu Kar said that though the CBI has not yet filed a chargesheet, evidence such as transfer of money to personal accounts of government employees involving the companies have been detected.