The Indian Army is acquiring ballistic helmets for its soldiers. The army will get have around 1.5 lakh of these bulletproof helmets that have been the force’s requirement for years now.
The Indian Army needs to move quickly to fill some vital gaps to enhance the fighting capability of its soldiers and protect them on the battlefield.
The world’s second largest army is still struggling to equip its soldiers with basic gear that can spell the difference between life and death during operations.
Here are five gaps that need to be plugged swiftly:
1) Night vision gear: The existing night vision devices are based on second generation technology and not very effective. The ability to operate optimally at night can determine the outcome of a battle. The army hopes to acquire new systems in three years.
2) Assault rifles: The INSAS (Indian small arms systems) rifle needs to be replaced with a new and more powerful weapon. Little progress has been made in the last 10 years and the army is still hunting for a replacement.
3) Bulletproof jackets: These are heavy and offer limited protection. The jackets leave soldiers vulnerable on the sides and the neck. Also, the jackets are uncomfortable and fall short of international standards. Steps are being taken to equip all soldiers with world- class jackets by 2020.
The bulletproof jackets currently held by the Army are bulky and are on the verge of obsolescence. (AFP File Photo)
4) Winter clothing: Soldiers have to buy winter clothes from the market for their survival. The gear issued by the army is bulky, prone to wear and tear and restricts freedom of movement. The army has set a one-year deadline to overcome this problem.
5) Location awareness system: Commanders are sometimes unaware of the exact location of troops conducting operations as the army doesn’t have location awareness systems. The army plans to acquire such systems by the end of next year for better planning and execution of operations.