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Sunday, February 25, 2018, 08:32 (GMT+7)
Propellant – Explosive Institute seeks to improve work performance

Propellant – Explosive Institute (PEI) is a leading explosive material research center for economic and military purposes. Due to the demand for defense industry development under the spirit of Politburo Resolution 06-NQ/TW (tenure XI), the institute has been assigned many new objectives with higher requirements. The primary tasks of the unit are studying, experimenting and introducing propellant and high explosive manufacturing technologies for the development of military ordnances. Also, in compliance with Minister of National Defense Directive 823/QĐ-BQP on “Restructuring Propellant – Explosive Institute in light of the Government’s Decree 115/NĐ-CP on the Autonomy of Public Scientific and Technological Organizations”, PEI is currently undergoing an operational and structural reorganization which transforms the institute into a partially financial independent unit. The institute has faced many challenges while policies governing science development, intellectual property and design copy right are still imperfect; in addition, the unit has only limited resources and condition for research, designing and testing projects; and its research products had not generated sufficient revenue, etc. Therefore, PEI Party Committee and director board have strengthened their leading role in every aspect of the unit, especially in research projects; structural organization enhancement; human resource building; and infrastructure investment. At the same time, the institution leadership applied many innovative approaches in product manufacturing, and exploring and expanding new markets and partnerships, etc. As a result, in recent years, PEI has made comprehensive progresses, accomplished all political tasks and greatly contributed to the development of our defense industry.

The quality of research staff always plays an essential role in the outcome of the institute’s task performance. Therefore, over the past years, PEI has paid appropriate attention and introduced many breakthrough methods in building high quality human resource. To that end, the institution pushed ahead structural reorganization, seeking for “quality, compactness, efficiency” in its working models. At the same time, the unit conducted reviews and made plans for human resource development, focusing on building a young and highly skilled research staff, and recruiting more personnel for new fields of study and leading experts in core sectors such as propellant, explosive, and chemicals, etc. To improve both the quality and quantity of its personnel, PEI implemented many different training models; prioritized increasing the number research personnel; and focused on training and utilizing highly potential cadres. With the motto “practical – efficient”, the institute closely combined research work with postgraduate education, onsite training with advanced training for personnel in domestic and foreign institutes. At the same time, the unit leadership encouraged individuals and research teams to hold self-study and self-tutoring sessions; and dispatched personnel to defense industry factories to gain more experience in technology transfer and product testing and manufacturing. Also, academic workshops were held regularly with the participation of leading experts and research teams to exchange knowledge and experience. On the other hand, PEI leadership implemented many policies to attract more qualified personnel; especially those who were trained in foreign academic institutes or experienced in their assigned field of study. In addition, the institute managed to develop effective plans for personnel assignments, even young researchers also had chance to hold key positions; at the same time, the unit paid special attention to not only working but also living condition for its personnel to preserve human capital. Currently, 89% of PEI research staff has acquired master and higher degrees; in which, there are 06 doctors and 08 postgraduate students. This is the core element in implementing the tasks of the institution.

Testing the 53-BA propellant

Besides, PEI increased investment in upgrading and modernizing its infrastructure and equipment to improve automation and synchronization in its operations and strengthen its capability in product research, designing and pilot manufacturing. During the past years, the institute managed to upgrade 6 specialized test labs; construct State Laboratory Vilas-015 and Explosive material test labs TC-VN to improve the capability of its Explosive Material Measurement and Testing Center; expand its Explosive Manufacturing Workshop and procure 09 explosive and propellant research, pilot and manufacturing lines, and hundreds of analysis, measuring and testing devices, etc. As a result, PEI was able to achieve breakthrough in researching, piloting and mastering manufacturing technologies for many types of explosives and propellants; and standardization of explosive and propellant quality evaluation for the military and private sector.

To follow the trend of international integration and national development, PEI conducted reforms in management mechanism for research work. Accordingly, the institute strengthened its structural organization under the guideline of Decree 823/QĐ-BQP; and determined formal functions, objectives and working mechanism system for the entire unit, closely following the given organizational transformation schedule. Since 2017, the unit has issued 17 leadership mechanisms for Party bodies; and 46 management mechanisms for different types of work. Especially, based on its leadership resolution tenure 2015 – 2020, and research guideline by 2020 and beyond, PEI applied ISO 9001:2015 in science and technology management. To that end, the institute managed to complete its science and technology management mechanism; develop policies to mobilize resources; implemented intellectual property and copy right registration; transferred technologies; digitalized the unit’s library; and build a database of its research projects, etc. These activities were the fundamentals for developing research and manufacturing process for each project and product. Besides, the unit combined centralized leadership with each research lab’s self-management and flexibility in selecting research projects and tasks. At the same time, PEI closely followed instructions from General Department of Defense Industry to assign tasks for each research team and individual; granting more autonomy for heads of project and teams; considering the final product as the decisive factor in evaluating research quality.

Also, the institute actively supported and encouraged research activities, especially new, innovative and feasible projects. To that end, PEI founded and effectively utilized Science and Technology Advancement Fund to financially and technically support challenged projects, open new institute-level projects, help young researcher to self-improve their working ability; and award outstanding projects and individuals. During the past years, the research staff of the institute accomplished all research tasks as planned, there were many products put in commission, and many technical innovations were effectively applied and highly appreciated by Ministry of National Defense.

At the TNP-1E Explosive line

To enhance its financial and technological potentials, PEI increasingly sought to do business and cooperate with domestic and foreign organizations. At the same time, the institute closely combined product research and manufacturing to effectively implement research – pilot – transfer and research – pilot – manufacture processes. Accordingly, the unit worked with other institutes in dozens of State-level and Ministry-level projects, such as: joint project with the Weaponry Institute to develop extended range artillery munitions, joint project with Technology Institute to develop extended range BM21 rocket, etc. Currently, PEI is also implementing several joint projects with OZM and Czech University of Chemistry and Technology. Not only conducted basic and applied researches, the institute also evaluated manufacturing capabilities of related factories to determine piloting plans, propose investment and improving the capabilities of said facilities. After these factories achieved sufficient manufacturing capability, PEI then transferred technology for mass production. Besides, the instituted carried out expansion and provided more equipment for Explosive Material Manufacturing Company to pilot, test and manufacture products that the military has not required mass production, or other factories had not been able to put in mass production.

With the spirit of innovation and sound strategy in science and technology work, from 2012 to 2017, PEI managed to accomplish 94 projects and tasks of all levels, in which there were 10 National projects; 28 Ministerial tasks and projects; 16 General department-level tasks and projects; and 40 Institution-level projects. The unit also transferred to different factories the technology of 8 types of propellant, 7 types of pyrotechnics substance; and currently these facilities are manufacturing 11 types of product with high quality and safety. Especially, PEI successfully accomplished 3 assignments, 2 projects and 9 sub-assignments of TL-01, KC.NQ-06, KC-I programs, such as: development of propellants, explosives and pyrotechnics substances for Anti-ERA anti-tank munitions (ĐCT-&, ĐCT-29), AK630 and AK176 autocannon munitions, TBG-7V thermobaric munition, RGB-12 deep charge; development of explosive for Kh-35E warhead; developments of propellant, explosive, pyrotechnics substance and components for TL-01 missile, and developments of quality assessment processes for 13 types of special chemical which were not transferred from Russian partners, etc. These works has been well-received from Ministry of National Defense.

Base on those achievements, in the coming time, PEI will continue to further utilize new equipment; accelerate the pace of research and manufacturing projects for many other types of propellant, explosive, pyrotechnics substance and missile fuel; seek for new research directions to improve the power of explosives, propellants and solid fuels for new types of weapon, such as: next-generation anti-tank munitions, anti-ERA munitions, thermobaric munitions, specialized munitions for the Navy and Air Defense – Air Force; and 3rd generation ERA, etc, to contribute to the development of our defense industry.

Senior Colonel Nguyen Hong Son, MA. Director of PEI

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