01:26 GMT27 February 2021
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    The Indian Army is expecting its first lot of bulletproof jackets after a gap of nine years. Sputnik spoke to S. C. Kansal, Managing Director, SMPP Pvt Ltd - the Indian firm which will be supplying the bulletproof jackets to the Indian Army, on the deal and features of the jackets.

    New Delhi (Sputnik): The heavy casualties among Indian soldiers during counter-insurgency operations and those deployed along the border have been mostly attributed to the absence of basic protective gear.

    Sputnik: What is unique about the bulletproof jackets made by your company?

    S. C. Kansal: One of the most important features is that it is the lightest. It has only 10kg weight. It has a vast area coverage. Its area coverage is 360 degrees, which means it will provide 360-degree protection to soldiers.

    READ MORE: Two Soldiers Killed In Unprovoked Firing by Pakistan Troops: Indian Army

    Sputnik: Will they be able to survive all types of bullets?

    S. C. Kansal: They have the capacity to beat all types of bullets that terrorists are mostly known to use. This is the core strength of my company's bulletproof jacket. They have been made to suit the specifications of the Indian Army. They have a boron carbide ceramic plate which is capable of blocking all types of bullets, including AK-47. They provide coverage from neck to the groin.

    Sputnik: Several bulletproof jackets failed trials conducted by the Defense Ministry: How did your jackets fare during the trials?

    S. C. Kansal: The Ministry of Defense tested the bulletproof jackets for four months before signing the agreement. The trial test was conducted at the Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory, Chandigarh, which was successful.

    Sputnik: Tell us more about the deal. What are the terms of the agreement?

    S. C. Kansal: Our agreement with the government is under "Make in India," as it is hundred percent indigenous. The first year we will supply 20 percent of the bulletproof jackets and balance 80 percent will be supplied over the next two years. We will supply total 186,000 bulletproof jackets to the Defense Ministry. The value of the deal is of approx. $99 million.

    Sputnik: How is your bulletproof jacket better than the others?

    S. C. Kansal: We have invested so much in research and development. In fact, our R & D has given us an advantage over Western countries; therefore, we are able to produce bulletproof jackets of very high quality. Our R & D unit of boron carbide ceramic specifically is at par with the present technology of the Western world. Earlier bulletproof jackets in India were based on low-level technology; therefore, they were not able to block all types of bullets, which resulted in heavy casualties. We are using boron carbide ceramic in bulletproof jackets. We are the fifth in the world which have its own boron carbide ceramic plant to be used in bulletproof jackets.

    READ MORE: Indian Army Chief: 'We Have to Be Prepared' Amid Chinese 'Pressure'

    Sputnik: Are you exporting your defense products to other countries?

    S. C. Kansal: Bulletproof jackets have a boron carbide ceramic plate which protects sensitive parts of the body. We are exporting these boron carbide ceramic plates to several countries, which include France, Australia, and Israel. We have a long-term contract with Airbus also. We also export other protection solutions to Germany, France, Australia, the UK, and Israel.

    Sputnik: Apart from bulletproof jackets, what other protection solutions does your company manufacture?

    S. C. Kansal: We are engaged in bulletproofing of helicopters, airplanes, and vehicles. We also make bulletproof helmets. These are the bulletproofing of armors. Besides, we are also into ammunition work, which we are doing since 1991 and for which we have been awarded by the Government of India.

    The views expressed in this article are those of the speaker and do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.

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    technological advancements, Indigenous, safety, bullets, research, bulletproof vests, Indian Army, India
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