Lighter bulletproof vests for our forces Aman Sharma New Delhi, July 20, 2009
The Union Home Ministry will procure 59,000 lightweight bulletproof jackets for the paramilitary personnel and state police forces by the end of September this year. The ministry is trying to meet the deadline set by home minister P. Chidambaram.
It will be the biggest- ever order till date for bulletproof jackets. Each jacket is expected to cost over Rs 20,000, making this an order worth nearly Rs 130 crore.
“ The new jackets will offer maximum protection and would weigh just about 6 kg — almost half the weight of the existing jackets that the police forces have,” a home ministry official said.
The new jackets will have a hard armour panel in the front and back and a soft armour panel to cover areas such as the groin, shoulders and collars.
The ministry had set up a committee comprising the directors- general of the CRPF, the NSG, the CISF, the ITBP and the bureau of police research and development to finalise the quality requirements of the jackets.
It procured 20,000 jackets this May from a company named Anjani Technoplast on an urgent basis.
The current order specifies that the ministry wants two sizes of these lightweight jackets to ensure a correct fit for its personnel — 27,767 standardsize jackets and 31,233 largesize ones.
The new jackets will conform to the NIJ Standard of Ballistic Resistance of Personal Body Armour Protection against a submachine gunfire.
Also, all the flaps of the new jackets will have high quality Velcro fasteners, so that the jacket can be worn and taken off easily, the order specifies.
The new jackets will have two external pockets, each of which can accommodate two magazines and a grenade. It is also specified that an additional polyester belt should be provided to properly secure the jacket around the waist.
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