Ordnance Factory Day [18th March]

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Mar 3, 2023, 16:20

Every year on March 18, Ordnance Factory Day commemorates the founding of the first Ordnance Factory in colonial India near Kolkata, in 1801. The Indian Ordnance Factories, Ministry of Defence, observe the day to highlight the country's ordnance factories' research, development and production capabilities for a range of guns and ammunition.

India is one of the strongest countries in the world when it comes to owning defence gear. This day can be a great occasion to learn about the artillery and ammunition that our country owns and uses. We have shared further details about Ordnance Factory Day, its history and its significance here.

About Ordnance Factories Day

India’s Ordnance Factories Board is the world’s 37th-largest manufacturer of defence equipment in the world. Ordnance Factories Day is celebrated every year to honor this board of defence equipment manufacturers. The board is also referred to as the “Fourth Arm of Defence” in India.

Ordnance Factory Day commemorates the establishment of the first Ordnance Factory in India in 1801. It also highlights the achievements of the Ordnance Factory Board of India and its growth over the years.


Ordnance Factory Day

Observed On

March 18 (every year)

Observed In



Ordnance Factories Day highlights the contribution of the Ordnance Factories Board.

Ordnance Factories Day - History

In India, ordnance manufacturers stretch back to the colonial era. Here is some information about the history of Ordnance Factory Day in India:

  • In 1775, the East India Company established a Board of Ordnance in Fort William, Kolkata, to expand their economic and political might in the country.
  • This was the beginning of the army's ordnance in the country.
  • The British also established a gunpowder plant in Ishapore in 1787, which began production in 1791.
  • In Cossipore, Kolkata, the British established a Gun Carriage Agency in 1801, and production began on March 18, 1802.
  • The first industrial Ordnance Factories in India were established at this time, and they are still functioning today.
  • The rise of these manufacturing plants proceeded, and by 1947, India had 18 ordnance factories.
  • Following independence, 21 more factories were built.

Ordnance Factory Day - About the OFB

The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) includes the Indian Ordnance Factories and is now known as the Directorate of Ordnance (Coordination and Services). It used to be a government of India organisation that was part of the Department of Defence Production (DDP). On the occasion of Ordnance Factories Day, here is more information about the OFB:

  • The OFB oversees 41 factories that employ over 70,000 people.
  • Its annual revenue is Rs 19,000 crore. All of this is divided into seven government-owned Defence Public Sector Units (DPSUs).
  • The government's intention to disband the OFB had been on the table for some time, having been mooted shortly after the 2019 Lok Sabha election.
  • On June 16, 2021, the Union Cabinet approved the plan. The government declared on October 1 that the Ordnance Factory Board will be abolished.
  • All existing factories and personnel were absorbed into these seven PSUs, according to reports. OFB was abolished on October 1, 2021, and all management, control, operations, and maintenance responsibilities were handed to seven newly constituted defence PSUs.
  • Ordnance Factory Day came into existence to honour the Ordnance Factories of India and the service of the Ordnance Factory Board towards the country which, now remains disbanded.

How to Celebrate Ordnance Factories Day

Ordnance Factory Day begins with the raising of the national flag and the singing of the National Anthem in recognition of the OFBs' valiant service. Here are some of the ways in which this day is celebrated:

  • Several events are planned for Ordnance Factories Day by the government.
  • Followed by the flag hoisting a presentation of firearms, ammunition, rifles, artillery, and other military equipment in displays around India takes place.
  • The show is open to the public and is free. A procession takes place alongside the display of weaponry and ammunition.
  • Every government in today's world demands a consistent supply of weaponry and ammunition for its armed forces.
  • The OFB was in charge of manufacturing a wide range of military equipment, including small guns, explosives and propellants, and ammunition.
  • Ordnance Factory Day was commemorated to recognise the OFBs' commitment to the defence sector of the country.

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FAQs on Ordnance Factory Day

Q1.What is Ordnance Factory Day and when is it celebrated?

Ordnance Factory Day is a day dedicated to honoring India’s ordnance factories which produce and maintain bombs, rockets, missiles, military vehicles, and optical devices. Ordnance Factories Day is celebrated on March 18, every year in India.

Q2. Why do we celebrate Ordnance Factory Day?

Ordnance Factory Day, which is celebrated every year on March 18, commemorates the day on which the first Ordnance Factory was established in India. This day also highlights the efforts of the Ordnance Factories towards the defence sector in India. The Ordnance Factories Board is also called the “Fourth Arm of Defence” in India.

Q3. What was the theme of Ordnance Factory Day 2022?

Vinashaya Dushkritam was the theme of Ordnance Factory Day 2022. This day is celebrated every year on March 18 to honor the efforts of the Ordnance Factories Board in India. The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) was founded in 1801 with the first of its industrial units.

Q4. How to celebrate Ordnance Factories Day?

A number of events take place on March 18 to celebrate Ordnance Factories Day. Some of the ways in which Ordnance Factory Day is celebrated include:

  • Raising the national flag and singing the national anthem.
  • A public exhibition of India’s artillery, arms, and ammunition.
  • An address by a politician or member of the Ordnance Factory Board.

Q5. When was the Ordnance Factory Board disbanded?

The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) was disbanded and converted into seven new defence PSUs after an announcement was made by the prime minister of India on, October 1, 2022. However, Ordnance Factory Day is still celebrated every year because it highlights the important role that the OFB played.