A soldier’s life is always at risk while he is on duty protecting the nation from the enemy. They have to always be on high alert because they never know when they’ll have an encounter with the enemy bullets. In such a hostile situation, a soldier needs to be well equipped with all kinds of ammunition and safety kit in order to protect himself and also respond to the situation. These include guns, bulletproof jackets, helmets, etc. You might have seen the Indian soldiers wearing a strange-looking headgear and wondered why they wear it and what does it actually do. In this article, we’ll be talking about this headgear, which is known as the ‘Patka’ Helmet.
The ‘Patka Helmet’ is an indigenously-built combat helmet for the Indian Army soldiers operating in Kashmir.
It was specially designed for the Sikh soldiers who wear a turban as it was very uncomfortable for them to wear the Indian Army Standard Model 1974 helmets. Presently, almost all the soldiers that are deployed in the Kashmir Valley use it as there are many advantages of the Patka helmet over the standard helmet of the Indian Army.
The first and a major advantage of the Patka helmet is that it is lightweight and more comfortable than the Standard Model 1974 helmet.
It does not cause any fatigue or a headache even after long hours of usage. A flap can also be used to cover and protect the neck, cheek, and the ears. The inner lining of the Patka helmet uses a cushioning material which brings in additional comfort. The Patka helmets can be used in extremely cold conditions as well where they provide the much-needed warmth to the soldier. Owing to its unique design, the Sikh soldiers can also wear it easily with their turbans.
Secondly, Patka helmets are said to be very reliable and can protect the soldier from guns like AK-47 even from close range.
The front section of the Patka provides protection against 7.62 x 39 mm AK 47 rounds which are the standard weapon used by the militants in the Valley. The rear part gives protection up to 9mm caliber. The cushioning material that is placed inside the Patka helmet helps absorb the trauma effect after it is hit by a bullet. There have been many cases where the Patka helmet alone has saved the lives of our soldiers who got hit by the bullets of the militants.
It is also compatible with modern communication devices, binoculars, rangefinders and night vision devices.
It is so simple in design that any device can be fitted and used with it easily thereby giving them protection as well as help to identify targets in hostile situations.
Presently, the Patka helmets are being used by the soldiers of Rashtriya Rifles, CRPF and also by Para Special Forces of the Indian Army in the Kashmir region.
The Patka helmet is an indigenously-built product which is proving to be very beneficial for our soldiers. Although, the Indian Army is now looking for modern light-weight advanced combat helmets the Patka helmets are here to stay and is not going to be replaced anytime soon. Even if it happens, our Sikh soldiers will continue to use it.