June 30th, 2015
NEW DELHI: Something as basic as proper bullet-proof jackets remains a distant dream for Indian soldiers. The Indian Army is yet to get light-weight modular jackets almost a decade after it first demanded them, and six years after the proposal was cleared by the government.
It was way back in October 2009 that the defence acquisitions council had cleared the acquisition of 1,86,138 such bullet-poof jackets since the Army was short of that number from its authorized holding of 3,53,765 jackets.
Nothing has come out of it till now despite the Army’s existing old and bulky jackets, which provide inadequate protection, themselves fast-approaching the end of their shelf-life in a year or so.
Given the operational urgency, defence minister Manohar Parrikar had last year announced the emergency procurement of 50,000 new jackets. But they, too, are yet to materialize. “The selection/procurement process is underway after the government sanction. It will take at least another six months,” said a defence ministry source on Monday.