For the first time, 40,000 indigenously made bulletproof jackets (technically and internationally known as “ballistic vests”) have been supplied to the Indian Army for troops carrying out counter-terrorism operations in the Kashmir Valley. Major-General (Retd) Anil Oberoi of SMPP Pvt Ltd said, “We hope that we will deliver on the order of bulletproof jackets for the Army well ahead of time.”
Oberoi said further that his firm had to supply 36,000 jackets in the first year, but “we are ahead of time and we have supplied 40,000 jackets to the Indian Army”.
The government has given the company a date till 2021 to fulfil the order, but by the end of 2020, all the jackets will be ready. Last year, the Ministry of Defence awarded indigenous manufacturer SMPP Limited a contract to provide more than 1.8 lakh bulletproof jackets.
The jackets are being supplied to the Central Ordnance Depot in Kanpur, from where they will be sent to Jammu and Kashmir and other violence-affected areas.
Oberoi claimed that the bulletproof jackets made by his firm could withstand the attack of even an AK-47 rifle. He said, ‘This bulletproof jacket made in the country can withstand bullets made of hard steel. It will neutralise AK-47 and many other weapons. Our jacket can absorb its effects.”
Oberoi said he had made helmets with bulletproof jackets that could protect soldiers against AK-47’s hard steel core ammunition. It will also have a facial visor.
“We will take care of our soldier from head to toe,” Oberoi said, adding that the company’s helmets were already being used by various armed forces in India, namely the Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
A ballistic vest or bullet-resistant vest, often called a bulletproof vest, is an item of personal armour that helps absorb the impact and reduce or stop penetration to the body from firearm fired projectiles and shrapnel from explosions, and is worn on the torso. Soft vests are made of many layers of woven or laminated fibres and can protect the wearer from a small-calibre handgun and shotgun projectiles, and small fragments from explosives such as hand grenades.
These vests often have a ballistic plate inserted into the vest. Metal or ceramic plates can be used with a soft vest, providing additional protection against rifle rounds, and metallic components or tightly woven fibre layers can give soft armour resistance to stab and slash attacks from knives and similar close-quarter weapons. Soft vests are commonly worn by police forces, private citizens who are at risk of being shot (e.g., national leaders), security guards, and bodyguards, whereas hard-plate reinforced vests are mainly worn by combat soldiers, police tactical units, and hostage rescue teams.