New Delhi, April 10: The ministry of defence on Monday placed an order to procure 1,86,138 lakh bullet-proof jackets amounting Rs 639 crore for the army soldiers deployed along the borders.
The contract was given to Delhi-based defence manufacturer SMPP Pvt Ltd, which claims the supply would commence within few months and complete the delivery in a span of three years, according to India Today report.
The MoD had granted a nod of necessity for buying 1,86, 138 jackets in 2009, but since then, following several reasons the army has been unable to procure these jackets.
The jackets will provide 360-degree protection to a jawan and also cover his throat and groin.
It will have modular parts, which will offer flexibility to soldiers deployed in different operational situations ranging from long distance patrolling to high-risk room intervention scenarios.
Since several years, the defence ministry’s failure to buy the life-saving guards has invited flak from the parliamentary standing committee on defence.
In a 2015 report, the panel asked the MoD to come out of the slumber and purchase the jackets as the shelf life of the existing jackets was about to expire, Deccan Herald reported.
Earlier, last month, in yet another report, the panel stated, “The issue of non-availability of bulletproof jackets has been consistently taken up by the committee in the last five years. Unfortunately, however, tangible results are yet to be seen.”