New Delhi: Government will soon float
international proposals for procuring bullet proof jackets
complying with latest benchmarks for protection of troops
under the command of the Home Ministry.
The new jackets will have to comply with best
standards in body armour protection-- NIJ IV-- to protect to
troops in combat from the lethal bullets of Self Loading
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is a research,
development and evaluation agency of the US Department of
Justice and the standards set by it for bullet proof jackets
are followed by security forces worldwide as a benchmark
According to sources, the initial trials of these
bullet proof jackets by a panel appointed to study the
feasibility of these jackets has found that these vests should
be light-weight and be able to protect commandos and
paramilitary personnel from bullet injuries at the sides of
the torso, neck and the groin region.
"The bullet proof jacket should be flexible and allow
complete freedom of movement without compromising the ability
to acquire and neutralise threats from any firing position
including when wearing a ballistic helmet. The full body
armour should have throat protector and upper arm protector as
add on," they said.
The Home Ministry has recently procured 59,000
jackets--complying NIJ III norms-- for various paramilitary
forces like CRPF, CISF, ITBP, SSB, BSF and the commandos of
Currently, these forces are facing a shortage of more
than 85,000 bullet proof jackets.
The CRPF, world`s largest paramilitary force, leads
the table with shortage of 40,069 jackets followed by the BSF
which needs 15,467 of such life saving vests.
During the initial trials, the commando units of
paramilitary forces and officers of the Special Forces of the
Army advocated a better protection body armour for troops
which will minimise loss of lives by stopping the bullets from
deadly guns and rifles, sources said.
"The sides of the torso are the most vulnerable. The
personnel in combat have to be saved from this and a 360
degree protection, light-weight bullet proof jacket, is the
requirement," a senior officer involved in the process said.
The officer cited the death of NSG commando Havildar
Gajender Singh who lost his life during the Mumbai attack when
he was air-dropped at Nariman house to flush out the holed up
Singh suffered bullet injuries from the side of the
torso during the Mumbai operation.
Such casualties can be minimised and even totally
stopped once they are provided the new bulletproof vests, the