The Indian Army has shown a requirement of 50,000 new bulletproof jackets (BPJs) for its frontline troops and the procurement process is expected to start in the next couple of months.
The Army has stated that the specifications of the jackets that they should be able to protect a soldier against 7.62 mm armour piercing rifle ammunition as well as hard steel core bullets fired from a distance of 10 meters. They should weigh less than 10 kg, while the weight of those meant for use against steel core rounds should not exceed 8 kg.
The jacket’s outer tactical vest should have the capacity to carry three magazines of the newly inducted SIG 716 rifle and the proposed AK 203 assault rifle along with other items like hand grenades, hand-held radio sets, tools, or attach additional pouches. A dearth of bulletproof jackets has been dodging the army for many years and the past, the procurement process as well as trials have generated controversy pertaining to the source as well as the quality.
Some Indian firms are also producing BPJs for the armed forces as well as the police. Last month, the DRDO claimed to have developed a lightweight BPJ, weighing about 9 kg.