Urgency Bullet proof vests for Soldiers
It's a Shocking update that Parliamentary standing committee issued, about the lack of much needed Bullet Proof Jackets for Army regular Soldiers. The committee warn's the defense ministry to speed up the procurement plans, where all the other operational BFJ's shelf life expired by 2016. The Initial plan is to equip some 2 lakhs of Soldiers who fighting in the frontier and special forces who deployed close to enemy lines. The plan is not just new, The initial RFP floated by Previous Government in 2009.
And the same RFP was canceled and floated again in 2012, thus takes another three years while making no clear results. and the 2012 RFP still on the race and ministry yet to respond the vendors. Recently the Home Ministry identifies the shortage of BFJ's to it's forces like CRPF in Naxal affected Area's and other para military soldiers like SPG, Parliament security and more.
An Indian Company secures the orders to supply 59,000 Modern BFJ's for under 100 corers and says they will supply within the next eight month from the contract signature date. The Company Named MKU, who is a German company issuing Ballistic Jackets to NATO and German Soldiers So far they delivered more than 15 million units all over the world, an Indian Businessman Named Gupta Acquired the same Company and runs under an Indian owner, Hence the company is an Indian.
The same also for Defence ministry, the Army urgently need an requirement of some 2 lakh suits in first phase, not only the Ballistic vest they also need weightless ballistic helmets, where the current Vests and Helmets could not save the soldiers lives in combat when they get shot by enemy's 7.62mm bullets fired from AK 47 series. Due to it's heavy weight, carrying the BFJ gradually decrease the Mobility of the Soldiers. more over most of the time the Regiment's special forces wear only outdated BFJ's and Helmets.
Here also the MKU leads the 2012 tender and yet to get orders from Defense ministry. Earlier MKU and DRDO signs a R&D contract to increase the Vests performance. The results are impressive. The current Vests has over weight can't give protection to neck, chest, groin and sides of the soldiers body, while it gives protection only for chest. Also it can't stop bullets fired from Assault rifles round like 5.56 mm and 7.62 coming from Pakistani G3 and AK 47 series of Assault Rifle's
Also it's hard to stop such bigger caliber 7.62 mm Bullets in close range, but the new generation Ballistic Vests can stop the 7.62 mm bullets fired from far than 30 feet. there is no BFJ in the world who can stop the 7.62mm rounds in such close ranges.Also the new vest gradually increase the protection area's like neck, chest, groin and sides of the soldiers body. It's also comes with lesser weight and customized for carrying bullets cartridge an Grenades, due to lesser weight it can increase the soldiers performance and mobility, also it can give full protection from Knife ambushes too.
Even if the defense ministry signed the deal with any of the Indian private firm, it almost took another two years to complete the order, also It's suspected that Ministry will float another fresh tender to acquire BFJ's likely to take more than three years to complete the orders, even if all of these will be done in fast track mode. so it's another hard time for the Indian Soldiers.