The Indian Army has reportedly received its first batch of bullet-proof helmets from Kanpur-based MKU Industries which was awarded a contract to manufacture 1.58 lakh helmets at the cost of Rs 180 crore. According to a report in the Economic Times, MKU claims that the bullet-proof helmets go through rigorous quality tests and ballistic lab test conducted at the company’s testing facilities in India as well as in Germany. The new helmets are reportedly designed to bear the impact of 9 mm ammunition fired from a short range. This, reports add, match global standards of equipment for armed forces.
Speaking to Economic Times, MKU’s Managing Director Neeraj Gupta said: “Head is the most venerable part of the body to get injured in a combat operation. According to studies, 26 per cent to 28 per cent of soldiers die because of head injuries. In addition to the current 1.6 lakh order, we hope to deliver over 7 lakh helmets to Indian Army and overall one million helmets to different Indian armed forces.”
In March this year, government think-tank NITI Aayog had prepared a draft note on ‘incentivising’ domestic manufacturing of light weight body armours for the army and para-military forces. The Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) had reportedly asked NITI Aayog to prepare a roadmap on the possibility of encouraging production of home-made light weight body armours. As of now, besides MKU, Tata Advanced Materials exports body armour to armed forces around the world including United Kingdom, Germany and Spain. News agency PTI reports that as per estimates, there’s a requirement of over 50,000 bullet proof kits for the police force in the country.