Sunday, May 16, 2010

Indian Navy to Procure 4,500 Water-Proof Floating Bullet-Proof Jackets

As parts of efforts to equip its troops with sophisticated protective gear post 26/11, the Navy is procuring 4,500 "water-proof floating" Bullet-proof Jackets (BPJs) for its personnel deployed at sea and coastal areas."To tackle the threat of terrorists and sea-pirates in the maritime zone and along our ports and coastal areas, we are procuring 4,500 BPJs, which will be water-proof and floating," a top Navy official told PTI.

The Navy has issued a global Request for Proposal (RFP) for procuring the BPJs and earmarked Rs 12 crore for the purpose, he said."Most of our installations are either in sea or close to it. So we are procuring jackets that can be used in water and help the troops stay afloat," he said.The trial for procuring the BPJs will be held at two stages.

"In one set of trials, the ballistic protection provided by the jackets will be tested at DRDO's TBRL lab in Chandigarh where the competing jackets will be tested against AK-47, MP-5 and other small arms of the Indian armed forces," the official said.The other set of trials will be to check the floating capability of the jackets where different samples will be conditioned in sea water for 24 hours.

"After that, they will be subjected to undersea trials.We want the BPJs to keep afloat personnel with their equipment for at least four hours," he said.Companies likely to participate in the tender include MKU defence systems, which recently won the Home Ministry order to supply 59,000 BPJs for the paramilitary forces.After the 26/11 Mumbai terror attack, the Navy has taken various steps to increase its preparedness to deal with terror strikes and is also raising a new force -- the 'Sagar Prahari Bal' (Sea Protection Force).


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