Made in India Solution at One Third the Cost of Imports
For the first time in 70 years, according to press reports circulating in India in early June, the Indian Army is likely to be able to use a bulletproof jacket designed, developed and manufactured in India.
Jackets currently in use, mainly imported from the US, weigh 15-18kg and carry a unit cost in the region of 1.5 lakh rupees (US$2,300). The indigenously developed alternative, which takes full advantage of very lightweight thermoplastic technologies, weighs a remarkable 1.5-2kg and could be procured in volume at an approximate unit cost of 50,000 rupees – one third of the current cost of imported solutions. The resulting savings could amount to over $300 million.
According to reports emanating from New Delhi, the jacket – developed by Dr. Shantanu Bhowmick, Head of Aerospace Engineering at Amrita University in Coimbatore – is the result of collaboration between the Ministry of Defence and the Defence Research & Development Organisation and is a strong candidate for being manufactured under the government’s Made in India policy. The solution, which features over 20 layers of advanced carbon fibre, will be effective in high temperatures, an important feature for the Indian Army’s potential operating areas.