India Minister of State for Defence Dr Subhash Bhamre has said that the Indian Army is expecting the delivery of its bulletproof jackets (BPJs).
In a written reply to Motilal Vora, member of Rajya Sabha, the upper house of the Parliament of India, Bhamre said that a contract was signed with an Indian vendor for the procurement of 186,138 BPJs. They are due to be delivered from April.
Bhamre said in a statement: “Procurement of defence equipment is a continuous process based on threat perception, operational challenges, technological changes and available sources to keep the armed forces in the state of readiness and equipped with modern weapon systems.”
The Indian vendor is reported to be specialist bulletproof solutions company SMPP. The jackets are designed ergonomically and will be capable of providing 360° protection to soldiers from latest hard steel core bullets in combat scenarios.
The capital procurement contract was signed under the ‘Make in India’ initiative in April 2018.
According to media sources, the standard for jackets and helmets used by the Indian Armed Forces is based on US National Institute of Justice (NIJ) level III+.
An industry executive was quoted by Financial Express Online as saying: “India does not have any specific standards for the BPJs. So far the orders that have been placed for the jackets for the armed and the paramilitary forces are based on the specifications laid out by the customer.”
However, it is reported that the country will soon have its own standard, which is expected to be finalised as early as this week.