New Delhi: Indian soldiers will soon wear indigenously developed bullet proof jackets for360-degree protection in combat situations, including safety from hard steel core bullets. In an effort to give impetus to Centre's 'Make in India' initiative, the Defence Ministry on Monday signed a contract with a defence firm for procurement of 1.86 lakh bullet proof jackets for the Army at a cost of Rs 639 crore.
These jackets were finalised after a series of 'stringent field evaluation trials', said Nirmala Sitharaman-led Defence Ministry.
“A major contract through capital procurement route, for procurement of 1,86,138 Bullet Proof Jackets (BPJs) has been signed. The impending requirement of the Indian Army for effective BPJs, has been met after successful conduct of stringent field evaluation trials,” the ministry said in a statement.
The contract was awarded to indigenous defence manufacturer SMPP Pvt Ltd.
The new jackets will have 'boron carbide ceramic', the lightest material for ballistic protection.
“This makes SMPP BPJs the best of the class and will be able to provide ballistic protection at the lowest possible weight," Chairman and Managing Director of SMPP S C Kansal told PTI.
The company added the size of the contract is Rs 639 crore.
Ministry has claimed that these state-of-the-art jackets with, added protection levels and coverage area, will boost the confidence of soldiers.
“These ergonomically designed BPJs have modular parts, thereby providing immense protection and flexibility to soldiers operating in different operational situations ranging from long distance patrolling to high risk room intervention scenarios. The new BPJs will provide 360 degree protection to the soldier in combat, including from latest hard steel core bullets,” said the statement.
“The concerns for BPJs for the Indian Army, have been raised at the highest levels, even in the civil domain and media reports amidst heightened security situation, along the borders and in the hinterland in the disturbed areas. The provisioning of this operationally urgent and very critical equipment concerning personal ballistic protection, will boost the confidence of the soldier and provide moral ascendency to security forces,” it added.