New Delhi: The army has initiated the process of procuring specialised leather gloves (two layered) for soldiers deployed in high altitude (HA) areas, a top defence source said.
The source said, “The ordnance branch of the army HQ has already initiated the process and request for information has also been sent to original equipment manufacturers. Approximately two or three lakh pairs are required every year for the force.”
The army sources said that these specialised gloves are essential for soldiers operating at an altitude of 6,000 ft to 12,000 ft to avoid medical complications.
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A Col rank officer, who had worked in HA areas in the northeast, said, “Temperature in HA areas fluctuates between minus 10 and minus 40 degree Celsius in Sikkim and Arunachal. To work in this tough weather condition, such specialised clothes are essential.”
As per the army requirement, the shelf life of the gloves should be two years and it should withstand inhospitable terrain and extreme high altitude area.
“It should be free from any kind of toxicity and be usable for 36 hours at a stretch without any allergic sensation to the skin.” the sources informed.
The officer further said that depending upon the terrain, soldiers require different kinds of equipment and clothing.
“Two-layer gloves are required at most posts, especially in the northeast. At some posts, three-layer gloves are required,” the Col added.
The army sources said that specialised clothing for soldiers at HA regions is paramount.
The army sources said that the field units deployed at different regions give their feedback on each item.
“The Commanding Officer (CO) has to look into the issue closely as he is the responsible for safety and comfort of his troops. This demand has come from field units and based on that specific demands have been quoted by the concerned authorities,” another senior army officer said on condition of anonymity.
The Indian army has deployed its troops at HA regions mainly in the northeast borders and Jammu Kashmir.