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Thursday, August 26, 2021, 10:35 (GMT+7)
Combining economy with defence at Factory Z121

Founded on September 7th, 1966, the Factory Z121, aka the 21 Chemical One Member Limited Liability Company under the General Department of Defence Industry, is tasked with manufacturing and providing explosive accessories for the Military’s training and combat readiness. At the same time, it is assigned to manufacture several dual-purpose products and fireworks for the country and export. Over the past 55 years of construction, combat and development, with a sense of unity and the spirit of daring to think, daring to do, and daring to take responsibility, the Factory has successfully fulfilled all assigned missions, built up its tradition of “maintaining unity, promoting collective knowledge, and overcoming difficulties to master science and technology,” and greatly contributed to defence industry development and national liberation, construction and protection. With its tremendous achievements, the Factory has been given the title of Hero of the People’s Armed Forces (1989), the title of Labour Hero in the Renewal Period (2004), 11 Feat-of-Arms Orders, 1 Second-Class Military Exploit Order and many other noble rewards by the State.

To implement the policy on combining defence with economy in the period of industrialisation, modernisation, and international integration, the Factory’s Party Committee and Board of Directors have grasped the Party’s guidelines on defence industry development, particularly the 11th Politburo’s Resolution 06-NQ/TW, dated July 16th, 2011 on “building and developing defence industry towards 2020 and beyond,” the Central Military Commission’s Resolution 520-NQ/QUTW, dated September 25th, 2012 and the Resolution 762-NQ/ĐUTC, by the Party Committee of the General Department of Defence Industry on “leadership over economic production and export of defence products towards 2020 and beyond.” To facilitate its sustainable development, the Factory has been determined to successfully fulfil the task of defence production and take advantage of resources to enhance economic production. To that end, it has synchronously adopted various measures. Greater importance has been attached to implementing a restructuring, building human resources, investing in equipment and technology, and promoting internal strength to raise the quality of products. Due attention has been paid to rendering cadres, party members, and employees fully aware of the guidelines on combining defence with economy and vice versa so that they would bring into play self-reliance and gradually master technology for manufacturing explosive accessories to serve the Military’s training and combat readiness in the new situation. Due to the particularities of the Factory’s production, priority has been given to ensuring safety. To be more specific, the Factory has implemented many measures for safety assurance. In this regard, significance has been attached to upgrading and repairing assembly lines to ensure production safety and protect the environment. The Factory has enhanced supervision and inspection of production via the camera system at its assembly lines, while conducting regular inspections and supervisions to opportunely detect and rectify shortcomings in production, prevent safety risks, and raise its staff members’ awareness and responsibility. With its sound policy and its cadres and employees’ effort, within 5 years (2015-2020), the Factory manufactured 58 types of defence products, including 7 new ones in a safe, qualitative manner.

To keep improving the quality of its products, the Factory has undertaken and applied  many scientific and technological researches to production. A large number of explosive accessories from those researches have been manufactured and employed in modern weapons, i.e. the ignition for weapons of the Navy and the Air Force. Currently, 3 products of the Factory have been manufactured in bulk for training and combat readiness.

Sr. Lt. Gen. Tran Quang Phuong, Deputy Head of the General Political Department visiting the Factory in April 2021

In order to meet the requirements set by defence production and expand the market for its economic products, the Factory has concentrated on researching and developing new products. It has taken numerous measures to train, cultivate, and deploy top cadres to take part in researching, trialling, and manufacturing several high-tech products. All products by the Factory have been tested and employed in military units with the good quality. Technical and tactical features and norms of those products have met military standards and effectively served the entire Military’s training and combat readiness.

Besides, the Factory has taken advantage of all resources to manufacture products for both domestic and foreign markets. In recent years, defence products have accounted for only 30% - 40% the Factory’s revenues. With defence production only, the Factory would not be able to ensure sufficient employments and income for its staff members; also, it would be unable to effectively exploit its facilities, equipment and other resources. Therefore, grounded on its strengths and existing technical equipment, the Factory has given priority to manufacturing a number of products, such as 40g/m explosive wire, LP15 non-electrical differential detonator, emulsion explosive, and firework. At the same time, it has proactively sought new partners and expanded the markets to export its products, particularly the products of high value, such as non-electrical differential detonator, safety differential detonator, explosive wire, and firework to a number of Southeast Asia and European Union states, Japan, and the United States. On a yearly basis, the Factory has always fulfilled or exceeded its production and business targets with an increase in its growth rate. Its total revenue from economic products between 2015 and 2019 was 4,742 billion VND, it achieved an annual average growth rate of 3.6%, and its capita income was 10.7 million VND per month.

To maintain its development in the market economy, the Factory has put its prestige and quality above all. It has applied the ISO 9001: 2015 quality management system to all products. Explosive accessories and fireworks manufactured by the Factory have asserted the quality in the domestic market and they have been exported to other countries, especially to Japan and the United States. In order to keep increasing the competitiveness of its products, the Factory has created a breakthrough in “implementing the investment projects on schedule in a qualitative fashion.” Typical examples are the projects on “investing in the firework assembly line and the national defence material depot,” “constructing the emulsion explosive assembly line,” “firework,” and “investing in upgrading technical infrastructure.” At the same time, due attention has been paid to modernising technological equipment, upgrading facilities, rationalising production, saving costs, decreasing product price, and cooperating with other production units in researching the market and providing high-quality, safe, environmentally-friendly products with a reasonable price for consumers. Thanks to proper production and business strategies, the Factory has effectively exploited its existing equipment and mobilising resources for modernisation, thereby making contributions to maintaining and increasing its defence production capacity.

In response to the restructuring of enterprises to meet the Military’s production and economic development and the requirements of international integration, the Factory has placed emphasis on developing its human resources so as to build a contingent of qualified managerial cadres and skilled workers, raise the effectiveness of production and business, and well perform its defence task. This acts as a determinant to the Factory’s sustainable development, especially when technology and equipment are increasingly modernised nowadays. Grounded on its production and business task, the Factory has adjusted the organisational structure of its divisions, committees, and workshops in order to reduce costs and improve the efficiency of its production and business. The Factory’s Party Committee and Board of Directors have always implemented a proper recruitment policy, with priority given to the qualified persons. In addition, the Factory has diversified forms of training and retraining, selected and deployed its cadres to schools both inside and outside the Military for further education, combined general training with intensive training, rotated jobs amongst its staff members, and gave assistance to its cadres and employees in improving their managerial and professional knowledge, with greater importance attached to young engineers and technicians in charge of operating modern equipment and assembly lines. On a yearly basis, the Factory organises examinations and contests to better its workers’ skills. Besides, it has closely combined the ideological work with appropriate preferential treatment policies and entitlements to ensure an increase in its staff members’ income. It has also well implemented policies on social, health, accident, and unemployment insurance, while regularly providing medical examination for its cadres and employees. Up to now, the Factory has completed the consolidation of its organisational structure in a compact, dynamic way appropriate to production and business operations to meet the requirements set by the market economy and international economic integration. Its technical cadres and workers are capable of playing a core role in its short-term and long-term development process.

Bringing into play the tradition of a unit which has been given the title of Hero twice, the Factory Z121 will keep devoting effort to combining economy with defence and vice versa, raising the efficiency of production and business, and developing itself sustainably to make contributions to building an advanced, modern, self-reliant, and dual-purpose defence industry of Vietnam.

Col. TRAN ANH MANH, MA

Deputy Director of the Factory Z121

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