A contract has been signed for procuring 1,86,138 Bullet-Proof Jackets (BPJs) for the Army which will provide 360-degree protection to the soldier including from the latest hard steel core bullets, an official statement said on Monday.
This reportedly comes nine years after the request for the bullet-proof jackets was made.
The statement said that the requirement of the Army for effective BPJs has been met after successful conduct of stringent field evaluation trials.
"The contracted BPJs have contemporary and state-of-the-art specifications with added protection level and coverage area," the release said.
A Delhi-based company called SMPP Pvt Ltd has won the contract.
The company has released a statement saying that it expects to complete delivery of all the jackets within three years and that the armour fulfils the strictest criteria of the Indian Army.
"These bulletproof jackets have 'Boron Carbide Ceramic' which is the lightest material for ballistic protection," the company said.
It said the ergonomically designed BPJs have modular parts that provide immense protection and flexibility to soldiers operating in different operational situations ranging from long distance patrolling to high-risk room intervention scenarios.
The concerns for BPJs for the Indian Army have been raised at the highest levels, including in the media, amid heightened security situation along the borders and in the hinterland in the disturbed areas.
The statement said that provisioning of this operationally urgent and very critical equipment concerning personal ballistic protection will boost confidence of the soldier and provide moral ascendency to security forces.
"The case was processed as a â€˜Buy Indian'. The provision of these new BPJs was done by Indian manufacturers who were successful in the trials.
"This has given an impetus to the â€˜Make in India' initiative and provides confidence that the Indian Industry is capable of fulfilling the requirements of Indian Army for its personal protective equipment," it said.
(With IANS inputs)