Not having bulletproof protection can prove to be matter of life and death during combat operations for soldiers.
Till now, personnel of the Indian Army have been relying on traditional patkas worn over obsolete infantry helmets to keep themselves safe in situations of enemy fire. This sort of protection, however, has serious limitations as it is quite heavy, over 2.5 kg, and is only capable of protecting the forehead and the back of the head.
The elite special forces got made in Israel OR-201 helmets made of Glass Reinforced Plastic, but that was more than a decade ago.
After being deprived for decades, now Indian soldiers will not have to wait long to finally receive bulletproof helmets which are capable of bearing the impact of bullets even from a short range.
The first tranche of bulletproof helmets has been delivered to the army by MKU Limited, a company which supplies military equipment such as bulletproof jackets and helmets to NATO and the United Nations. The contract worth Rs. 180 crore to supply nearly 1.6 lakh bulletproof helmets was awarded to the Kanpur-based company earlier this year.
The helmets are embedded with a protective layer of Kevlar which will let the soldiers bear the impact of 9 mm ammunition shot by enemy from a short range, that is, around 20 meters. This headgear is also equipped with trauma protection pads while those for “commanders” even have integrated communication headsets fitted in them. This is at par with the international standards of protection among the leading armed forces of the world.
As per claims by MKU, these helmets undergo rigorous quality checks and ballistic lab tests in the company’s testing facilities in Germany and India. These helmets can even be improvised in the future to include a communication device, night-vision device and camera, etc.
In November 2016, the Indian Army got its first lot of 50,000 bulletproof jackets. And now, the government ordering bulletproof helmets indicates that it has finally woken up to the protection needs of the bravehearts who dedicate themselves to the protection of nation. Making modern and highly protective kit equipment for the army not only keeps them physically safe during encounters with the enemy but might also help keep their morale high.