Deprived of basic safety equipment like bulletproof gear, Indian Army has finally received 7,500 helmets after losing hundreds of soldiers in close encounters with terrorists and rival troops in recent decades.
New Delhi (Sputnik) — In total, the Indian Army ordered 158,279 helmets under fast-track purchase plan. The second batch of 30,000 helmets is expected to arrive by the end of this year, and the rest will be delivered by mid-2019. However, the 1.3 million-strong Indian Army needs more than 300,000 such helmets for its infantry.
The ballistic helmet is capable of stopping 9mm bullets from a 20-meter range. Up to 50,000 lightweight helmets will also be equipped with latest communication headsets. Ballistic helmets found the topmost mention for military purchase during the first press conference of newly appointed Army Chief General Bipin Rawat.
"Several casualties take place because of bullet injuries. We are looking at ballistic helmets. Today we are using patkas, which only protects one's forehead," Rawat had said earlier this year.
Indian soldiers are fighting close-range fights with terrorists and militants without basic safety equipment. Indian paramilitary forces have a 98% shortage of ballistic helmets. The Central Reserve Police Force, which is deployed in Kashmir, has more than 350,000 troops but they have only 1,853 pieces of bulletproof headgear.
In 2016, the Army had procured 50,000 bullet-proof jackets through revenue route, with 186,138 more vests expected to be delivered very soon.
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