For the first time in 70 years, Indian soldiers will be able to use bullet-proof jackets made using technology developed in the country.
Designed by Professor Shantanu Bhowmick, a scientist and Head of Department of Aerospace Engineering at Amrita University in Coimbatore, the bullet-proof jacket has got a nod from the Ministry of Defence, The Economic Times reported.
Made from indigenous lightweight thermoplastic technology, the jacket will be part of the 'Make in India' project. Once the design is also approved by the PMO, the manufacturing of the jackets will begin.
According to ET, Bhowmik's design will help the government save Rs 20,000 crores annually. Currently each such jacket used by the country's military and para-military forces, that India exports from America, costs Rs 1.5 lakh.
Apart from being cost efficient, the design adds several other significant features to the bullet-proof vests.
- The indigenous technology will also make the jackets nearly eight times lighter - while the present ones weigh around 15-16 kg, the new jackets will be only 1.5 kg. The 20 layers and carbon fiber in the jackets will ensure that Army personnel can wear it and work in temperatures as high as 57 degrees Celsius.
The Army had previously placed an order of over 3 lakh bulletproof vests in 2009, but had received the first lot of 50,000 jackets seven years later in 2016. At the time it was reported that the Army was looking for modern jackets -- that were lightweight so that it didn't impact the movement of soldiers, along with providing greater protection -- since its existing stock had become old.