Navy to procure floating bullet-proof jackets

As parts of efforts to equip its troops with sophisticated protective gear post 26/11, the Navy is procuring 4,500 "water-proof floating" Bullet-proof Jackets (BPJs) for its personnel deployed at sea and coastal areas.

Updated: May 13, 2010, 18:44 PM IST

New Delhi: As parts of efforts to equip its
troops with sophisticated protective gear post 26/11, the Navy
is procuring 4,500 "water-proof floating" Bullet-proof Jackets
(BPJs) for its personnel deployed at sea and coastal areas.

"To tackle the threat of terrorists and sea-pirates in
the maritime zone and along our ports and coastal areas, we
are procuring 4,500 BPJs, which will be water-proof and
floating," a top Navy official told agency.
The Navy has issued a global Request for Proposal (RFP)
for procuring the BPJs and earmarked Rs 12 crore for the
purpose, he said.

"Most of our installations are either in sea or close to
it. So we are procuring jackets that can be used in water and
help the troops stay afloat," he said.

The trial for procuring the BPJs will be held at two
stages.

"In one set of trials, the ballistic protection provided
by the jackets will be tested at DRDO`s TBRL lab in Chandigarh
where the competing jackets will be tested against AK-47, MP-5
and other small arms of the Indian armed forces," the official
said.

The other set of trials will be to check the floating
capability of the jackets where different samples will be
conditioned in sea water for 24 hours.
"After that, they will be subjected to undersea trials.
We want the BPJs to keep afloat personnel with their equipment
for at least four hours," he said.

Companies likely to participate in the tender include MKU
defence systems, which recently won the Home Ministry order to
supply 59,000 BPJs for the paramilitary forces.

After the 26/11 attack, the Navy has taken various steps
to increase its preparedness to deal with terror strikes and
is also raising a new force -- the `Sagar Prahari Bal` (Sea
Protection Force).

PTI