It's a Shocking update that Parliamentary standing committee issued, they are not just expressed the shortage of Bullet Proof Jackets for the Soldiers, they warned the defense ministry to speed up the procurement plans, where all the used BFJ's shelf life expired by 2016, The Initial plans to equip some 2 lakhs of BFJ's to Soldiers who fighting front lines in Counter insurgency and special operations. the plan is not just new, The initial RFP floated by Previous Government in 2009.
And the same RFP canceled and floated another fresh Tender in 2012, taking three years of no progress, and the 2012 RFP still on the race and ministry yet to respond the vendors. Recently the Home Ministry identifies the shortage of BFJ's to it's forces like CRPF in Naxal affected Area's and other Forces under Home ministry like SPG, Parliament security and more.
An Indian Company catch the orders to supply 59,000 Modern BFJ's for under 100 corers and reports says that they were supplied those numbers within eight month time frame. the Company Named MKU, which is a German company issuing Ballistic Jackets to NATO and German Soldiers who supplied more than 15 million units all over the world, an Indian Businessman Named Gupta Acquired the Company and supplied the modern BFJ's to the Home Ministry,
The same also for Defence ministry, the Army urgently need an requirement of some 2 lakh suits in first phase, not only the Ballistic vest they also need communication equipped ballistic helmets, where the current Vests and Helmets could not save the soldiers lives in combat when they get shot by enemy's, due to it's heavy weight it gradually decrease the Mobility of the Soldiers. more over most of the time the Regiment's special forces wear only outdated BFJ's and Helmets.
Here also the MKU leads the 2012 tender and yet to get orders from Defense ministry, earlier MKU and DRDO conducted R&D about increasing the Vests performance and which made successful results, during tests,the current Vests has over weight can't give protection to neck, chest, groin and sides of soldiers body, gives only protection for chest, also it can't stop bullets fired from Assault rifles round like 5.56 mm and 7.62 coming from Pakistani G3 and AK 47 series Assault Rifle's
Also it's hard to stop such bigger caliber 7.62 mm Bullets in close range, but the new generation Ballistic Vests can stop the 7.62 mm bullets fired from far than 30 feet, also the new vest gradually increase the protection area's like neck, chest, groin and sides of soldiers body. it also comes with lesser weight and customized for carrying bullets cartridge an Grenades, due to lesser weight it can increase the soldiers performance and mobility, also it can give full protection from Knife ambushes.
Even if the defense ministry signed the deal with any of the Indian private firm, it almost took another two years to complete the order, also It's suspected that Ministry will float another fresh tender to acquire BFJ's likely to take more than three years to complete the orders even all of these will be done in fast track mode. so it's another hard time for the Indian Soldiers.