The Indian Army soldiers are now protected against 9 mm carbine bullet strikes with the new `Made in India’ Bullet Proof Helmets. The new helmets were the first major contract for modern composite helmets placed under Make in India initiative, and the contract between Kanpur based MKU Ltd and the Ministry of Defence was signed during the tenure of the then defence minister Late Manohar Parrikkar in 2016. The contract was for 1, 58.279 Bullet Proof Helmets (BPH).
Vaibhav Gupta, Director and Head of Domestic Operations, has confirmed to Financial Express Online on Friday that “Contract has successfully been completed by the company earlier this year in April. And the helmets supplied are already in use by the Indian Army in critical operation areas and are also being used by the Indian Navy.”
“Around 55,000 of the 1.58 lakh BPHs are equipped with communication systems to be used by commanders. And these have been completely designed and manufactured in India by MKU,” Vaibhav Gupta added.
According to him the helmets were selected after undergoing extensive user and ballistic trials by the Indian Army in all types of terrains and firing trials. “Our ongoing and continued investment in R&D has facilitated major breakthroughs.”
“We at MKU have successfully executed export orders for helmets from Chile, Philippines, Singapore, Egypt and Nepal in the recent past,” he says.
In stiff competition from the Chinese company, the export order from Nepal was the first for an Indian company.
More about these Bullet Proof Helmets – what is special?
Helmets are comfortable, light weight and with a snug fit. And the weight depending on the size varies from 1.2 kg to 1.4 kg.
Specially designed to provide low trauma to provide protection from head injuries
Lightweight and comfortable fit enables long period usage and there are no quality issues with these.
According to the company officials the new Bullet Proof Helmets will be replacing the ‘bulletproof patka’ that the soldiers in the Indian Army have been using since the 1990s. This was a sheet of armoured steel which was wrapped in canvas and was circular in shape.
The new helmets are capable of protecting the soldier from the 9 mm carbine bullets which flies at twice the speed of sound, and the kinetic energy it delivers causes huge trauma on those who are wearing body armour and helmets.
The new technologies used in these light weight helmets will ensure that the soldiers are protected against the impact of such bullets.
The Indian Army has got these new hi-tech helmets after over two decades. The delivery of the order was completed over a span of three years.
The story of helmets in the Indian Army
In the 90s when the Army was deployed to fight insurgency in J & K, the soldiers were equipped with 1974 model fiberglass helmets. These were not adequate enough to protect the soldiers against flying bullets and splinters.
The `Patka’ like helmets designed by former Major General VK Datta in the early 1990s, was the low cost option used for protecting the soldier wearing it. It was not enough in preventing injuries due to blunt trauma and the top portion was open.
What do the new helmets have?
There will be support for various accessories including the visors, face shields and night vision goggles.