As per a media report, the Army has awarded a massive contract-the first large scale order of helmets placed by the Army in more than two decades-to the Kanpur-based MKU Industries for manufacturing 1.58 lakh helmets in a deal worth of Rs 170-180 Crore. The production of these new helmets has commenced and the delivery is expected within three years’ time.
The MKU Industries is a world leader in the manufacture of body armour (bulletproof jackets and helmets) which it exports to armed forces around the world.
These new helmets are designed to bear the impact of 9 mm ammunition fired from a short range.
The new helmet – an essential piece of a soldier’s kit – meets the global standard for protection among leading armed forces.
They are also designed to be comfortable and many of them can be integrated with communications devices.
Over a decade ago, the Indian Army’s elite para special forces were equipped with an Israeli OR-201 helmet made of Glass Reinforced Plastic. However, the regular soldiers in infantry formations continued to wear the heavy domestically-made helmets that were uncomfortable to wear during combat situations.
In March last year, the government signed an “emergency contract” to purchase 50,000 new bulletproof jackets from Tata Advanced Materials Limited after a delay of more than 10 years.
This is a stand-in acquisition – the Army is in the process of evaluating far more advanced jackets which can provide soldiers a greater degree of protection from enemy bullets or shrapnel in the battlefield, the report said.