New Delhi: For providing its personnel protection against the lethal bullets of rifles such as AK-47, the Indian Army has issued tenders to procure around two lakh bullet-proof jackets and helmets for its troops deployed in counter-insurgency operations.
The two tenders were issued last year under Army`s modernisation programme of its Infantry soldiers known as the Future-Infantry Soldier as a System (F-INSAS) under which it will acquire?1,86,168 bulletproof jackets for its personnel along with ballistic helmets with internal communication gear.
"We have participated in both the tenders to supply these bullet-proof jackets and ballistic helmets with internal communication facilities," Indian firm MKU`s Managing Director Neeraj Gupta said here.
He said his firm has responded to the bids issued by the Army under the category in which only six Indian vendors have been allowed to compete.
Gupta said after acquiring a German manufacturing facility, his firm has supplied protective gear to more than 100 international forces and they have been used by them in conflict zones such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
As per the Army`s requirement, it wants jackets with hard armour plates for front, rear, sides, upper arms, groin and throat, capable of protecting against 7.62mm x 39mm mild steel core ammunition fired from an AK-47 from 10 metres.
The Army is deployed in counter-insurgency operations for several decades in North East and Jammu and Kashmir and has been facing shortage of these protective gear as pointed out by the Comptroller and Auditor General in its recent report.
Gupta said his firm is looking towards providing armoured protection to military helicopters that operate in insurgent and terrorist-infested areas in the country.