Jammu: The Indian Army has finally received its first set of advanced bulletproof helmets, a long-pending demand of the Army’s that has been using unreliable head protection for years. In sync with the idea of ‘Make in India’, the helmets, weighing 1.8 kg, are manufactured by a private Indian company based in Kanpur and have already started replacing the old ones that were bulky and cumbersome to use during combat.
The Army has received the initial batch of 7,500 helmets of the 3.28 lakh proposed, sources said. While the helmets will be sanctioned on a priority basis to troops carrying out anti-terror operations and serving on the forward areas bordering Pakistan and China, a set of 2,500 helmets has been given to those serving on United Nations missions.
The Indian Army has been facing frequent combat situations, especially in anti-terror operations in Kashmir and also during skirmishes on the Line of Control with Pakistani troops and terrorists infiltrating from across the border, but it lacked a basic protective gear like a bulletproof helmet for years.
Sources said that 1,58,279 of the proposed number of helmets have been cleared for procurement at a cost of Rs 170 crore and are expected to be given to the Army in the next one year.
“The next lot of 5,000 helmets will be issued shortly and another 6,000 will be sent for trials. By the end of the year, we expect to get a total of 30,000,” said an army source.