Yeah Finally, literally. After 2 decades of waiting and wasting time, Army is all set to get 1.58Lakh helmets which are of high quality and best of class. This project has been dangling over two decades now, and looks like the government and armed forces have realised the urgent need for head protection.
Regular soldiers in army, today, wear domestically-made helmets which are 2.5kg. It’s not only heavy, but also uncomfortable. Also, they only guard the forehead and back of the head. This is called ‘Patka’, a bulletproof headgear with several limitations attached to it. Earlier last year, the government has given an ‘emergency order’ to purchase 50,000 bulletproof jackets. This contract was awarded to Tata Advance Materials Limited (TAML), after a delay of 10 years. However the army is in the process of evaluating far more advanced jackets which can further enhance the protection capabilities.
Talking about the new helmets, they are expected to be delivered within 3 years from now. The contracts was awarded to MKU Industries. The order size is Rs.170-180 crore. MKU Industries is pioneer in manufacturing military equipment, helmets, bulletproof jackets, etc. It has gained eruption world across for it’s quality accessories. The new helmets can withhold a 9 mm bullet shot from short range. An added feature is the advanced communication system. The Helmet can be integrated to communication devices. Unlike what the forces use today, these helmets are designed to be light weight and extremely comfortable.
Armed forces have been facing severe shortage of accessories from long time now. We have to appreciate the government and the authorities at helm of armed forces for taking up this issue in war footing mode. Indian army lacks ammunition and special grade weapons too. However the government has ordered howitzers, worth Rs.5000 crore, from the US and also looking to buy Modern Personal Automatic Rifles, Snipers Rifles, Automatic GPMG(General Purpose Machine Guns), Light Weight Rocket Launchers, Short guns and Pistols.
For most of the requirements the government is inviting international bids and for an Indian partner, if successful, will give a big boost to Make In India campaign.