Indian Soldier to Be Equipped with Modular Bullet-Proof Vests
|After having faced major criticism for the sad state of military gear that the Indian soldier is equipped with, the Indian Army will soon import modular light-weight bullet-proof jackets and ballistic helmets with internal communication gear. The need for better body and head armour for the soldier has been heightened due to the continual counter-insurgency operations in the country.|
According to the Indian Army, the General Staff Qualitative Requirements (GSQRs) has been remodelled and modular jackets will be imported from potential foreign vendors. The trials for the same will be conducted at the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory, Chandigarh and later in Rajasthan deserts and mountains of Jammu and Kashmir. The Indian Army will be equipped by these modern bullet-proof jackets by 2012.
Apparently, over ten companies have elicited their interest in supplying these modular jackets and the Indian Army’s tender indicates that 150,000 bullet-proof jackets will be inducted in the first phase and another 180,000 will be acquired in the second round.
The new bullet-proof jackets will be ergonomically designed, light-weight, modular and fitted to ensure agility and maximum protection. Two kinds of jackets are being envisaged by the Indian Army. For a "low threat perception” mission, the jacket will weigh less than 4 kilograms and have a trauma pad with a soft armour plate all around it and a high threat mission jacket which will weigh 10.5-11.5 kilograms with hard armour plates all around it. The latter will provide protection against 7.62mm x 39mm mild steel core ammunition fired from an AK-47 from 10 meters. Unlike the conventional bullet-proof jackets, these vests can be taken off part by part depending on the mission of the soldiers.
According to the report by the Parliamentary Panel, the Indian Army was short of 1,86,138 bullet-proof jackets despite being authorized 3,53,765 new ones way back in March 2004. Besides that, the current bullet-proof vests weigh over 11 kilogram thereby hampering the agility of the soldier who carries other equipment as well. These new acquisitions by the Indian Army are crucial to plug the gaps in its operational capability and enable effective and decisive actions in response to hostile situations.