The Indian Defence Research and Development Organization(DRDO), long pilloried for delivering late and producing tardy products, has set up a Directorate of Quality, Reliability and Safety.
The relatively new directorate is tasked to maintain conformity with staff qualitative requirements of the three Services; observation and testing at the trials; and other quality assessments. It was set up in late 2013 but details of its existence was not known until recently.
It has been monitoring from the design stage the Joint Venture Protective Carbine, which is a new carbine the DRDO has decided to make for the Indian Army. While it is early days yet, the armed forces have not yet given their verdict on the functioning of the directorate.
The rather unusually named Joint Venture Protective Carbine (JVPC) is also called the Modern Sub-Machine Carbine and is at the user trial stage, according to a news agency report. DRDO’s history in the small arms business has been mixed with several R & D projects but few in the army’s hands. Even the highly rated INSAS rifle was criticised by the army for being prone to jamming and its magazine developing cracks.
The quality directorate functions as an independent entity and is actually a spin-off from a body that already existed in the DRDO dedicated to the Integrated Guided Missile Development Programme (IGMDP) and other missile programmes.
Besides inspecting for quality assurance, and reliability and safety issues, the personnel deputed with the directorate also lend expert advice to remove glitches, till the product or processes are delivered for user trials.