512 Army Base Workshop, Kirkee, (512 ABW), an Indian Army Enterprise, today announced that it is upgrading its product range from Infantry Combat Vehicles BMP-II to Infantry Combat Vehicles BMP-IIk which are utilized as command Infantry Combat Vehicles in the battle field.
512 Army Base Workshop in Kirkee, Pune is the only captive organisation of Indian Army capable of stripping a 15 to 20 year old armoured fighting vehicle and then rebuilding it like new from the basic hull. For a developing economy like India, the work done by 512 Army Base Workshop results in a huge saving to the nation. The workshop does the complete stripping and rebuild of an Infantry Combat Vehicles (ICV) at a cost of Rs 1.54 Cr per BMP as against the replacement cost of new BMP which is Rs 5.5 Cr. The rebuild done by the Base Workshop gives it a new lease of life. The workshop does its own Research & Development and is carrying out import substitution through the reverse engineering route.
Unveiling the new vision of the 512 Army Base Workshop, “To be the Best Rebuild and Recapitalisation Organisation for Infantry Combat Vehicles in Asia”, the Commandant of 512 Army Base Workshop, Brigadier Neeraj Varshney highlighted that 512 ABW is a prime example of the “Make in India” concept. It is transforming itself into developing the inherent capability to manufacture and produce a large number of spare parts and assemblies which were earlier imported. The Master General of Ordnance (MGO), Lieutenant General Ravi Thodge, AVSM,SM,VSM and the Director General of EME(DGEME), Lieutenant General KJ Singh,VSM have been focusing on developing a 100% indegenisation capability with respect to Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) for Indian Army and 512 Army Base Workshop is helping to realize that goal. Pune being an automobile hub for the industry, 512 Army Base Workshop is building synergy with companies like Bharat Forge to find import substitutes and take forward the public-private partnership idea of the Prime Minister and Raksha Mantri.
A tour of 512 Army Base Workshop is an eye opener for a newbie. It has modern laboratories, aged but well maintained plant and machinery and a skilled workforce of approximately 2500 civilians. The cordial relations between the management and workers have resulted in production targets being met, year after year.
The new management is also modifying the product portfolio. In the past 512 Army Base Workshop has rebuilt and recapitalized T-55 tanks, now it is doing Infantry Combat Vehicles BMP-II. Brigadier Neeraj Varshney is expanding the portfolio to WZT-2 Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARVs) and gradually to WZT-3 and VT-72 Army Recovery Vehicles also. A detailed project report (DPR) for Modernization of the Base Workshop for the new product mix is under preparation and will be shortly submitted to the MoD. The new initiatives and measures will take the Kirkee based Workshop into the big ticket manufacturing league and fast track our goals of self reliance and creating ancillary jobs through Public Private Partnership(PPP).