Bengaluru: With increasing number of skirmishes along the border with Pakistan, and possibility of maritime attack by terrorists, the country’s armed forces will, for the first time, don bulletproof helmets and jackets, soon.
Within the next couple of months, the first set of bulletproof helmets out of an order of 1,58,000 (order worth Rs 170 crore) will be given to the northern command of Indian Army. Of these, 13,000 will go to MARCOs (maritime commandos) of the Navy.
Interestingly, MKU, a Kanpur-based enterprise with an annual turnover of Rs 300 crore, which has been chosen to supply these helmets and jackets, has been providing them to armed forces of 120 countries. Some of these helmets will also have radio sets attached to facilitate better communications during encounters with terrorists or during war, Mahesh Singh Chauhan, spokesman of MKU, told Deccan Chronicle.
He said his firm will commence delivery of such helmets in two months, and complete the process over the next three years. “Helmets made by us are special because 40 layers of composite fabric are compressed to make sure that they cushion the impact of bullets. The jackets are undergoing field trials, and the order is likely to be of the order of 1.89 lakhs. These jackets help break the tip of bullets and stop them piercing the body even when they are fired from close proximity of 10 meters," he added.
MKU has supplied 60,000 bulletproof jackets to CRPF, besides 3,500 to the Navy and 300 bulletproof and floatation jackets to the Coast Guard. In addition, it has provided specialised equipment to special para forces and QRT or quick reaction teams for counter-insurgency and operation against terrorists, he added.
This firm has developed armour protection for aircraft and helicopters using cutting-edge technologies while keeping the weight of the armour minimum. MKU’s 6th Generation Polyshield V6 armouring technology uses advanced composite materials and techniques that reduce the weight of the armour for aircraft and helicopters by approximately 40 per cent compared with standard armouring solutions.
It also designs helicopter armour kits using the proprietary 'Modular Schutz Technik', which uses precision engineered composite armour panels along with patented aero-grade attachment systems. These kits are installed in existing structure of the helicopter, thus saving changes or tampering with the aerodynamics of the helicopter.
A model of cabin of a helicopter with such protection along with bullet proof helmets are on display at Aero India 2017.