Government-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) is entering into a joint venture with an Israeli company to manufacture “cargo ammunition” (known to maim but does not kill) but raising hackles of human rights organization seeking to stop these products. OFB says that there is an export potential of about Rs. 100 crores (USD 21 million) for such products to countries like Nepal if marketed by Israel.
Defense sources say that it needs to get into such marketing arrangements to break through mental mindsets of nations that reject Indian defense products, despite competitive pricing, because they are of an ex-Soviet genre while many are North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) compatible.
Israel Military sources say that “the effect of an artillery weapon system on the battlefield depends on the type of ordnance employed against enemy forces” and that cargo ammunition will “dramatically enhance the importance of artillery on the battlefield.” The cargo ammunition is “vital for the modern artillery corps” as it will facilitate “operational readiness” and also offer “deterrent power.” Human rights organizations oppose “cargo ammunition” because of the inherent philosophy that a wounded soldier will require at least 4 others to be evacuated thereby slowing down the adversary. Analysts say that Israel is using a similar type of ammunition in its invasion of Lebanon which contains a high chemical content leading to severe burn injuries requiring amputations of limbs
This deal would be the second Indian defense sector marketing agreement with Israel as Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) is already in a joint venture with an Israeli company to sell its helicopters in South American countries