Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik handed over the 100,000th Bullet Proof Jacket (BPJ) to Army Chief General M M Naravane at a ceremony.
The government will ensure that “the best of weapons and protective armour” are provided to the soldiers, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said Wednesday.
Naik handed over the 100,000th Bullet Proof Jacket (BPJ) to Army Chief General M M Naravane at a ceremony here, the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
As per the statement, Naik said at the event that the Modi government has placed high emphasis on the operational safety of soldiers and it has honoured its commitment of protecting their “precious lives” while fighting the enemy.
Naik assured that “the government will ensure that our soldiers will be provided with the best of weapons and protective armour and such requirements will always remain uppermost in priority”.
He appreciated manufacturer company SMPP Pvt Ltd for supplying the one lakh BPJs four months ahead of the delivery schedule. The company already supplied 40000 bulletproof jackets in October 2019
The minister noted this BPJ is an indigenous product manufactured under the ‘Make in India’ initiative and the company is even exporting the product all over the world making India a global hub for supply of such defence items.
The minister said this BPJ has been appreciated by Indian soldiers who are using them on the borders and in countering insurgency.
These jackets have boron carbide ceramic, making it ultra-light in weight and providing a ‘360-degree protection’. The ceramic is one of the hardest materials to stop bullets and yet be lightweight. According to Ashish Kansal, executive director of SMPP, they are one of the five companies in the world to manufacture these jackets. In 2017, the ministry of defence had given SMPP the technology award for bulletproof jackets.
The company claims to preserve a sustainable ecosystem by also manufacturing ‘green packaging’ that can be used for protecting wine bottles and other spirits. This packaging is made out of the recycled pulp and used for automotive, medical, electronic, household, and office products.
First indigenous company
SMPP became one of the first private Indian companies to be given permission to manufacture ammunition in 1991 when the defence sector was closed to the private industry. It was given the defence/industrial licence from the defence ministry as an approved manufacturer of combustible cartridges, bulletproof vest, vehicle armour and aircraft armours.
Started in 1985 by Dr S.C. Kansal, an IIT-Bombay alumnus who received his Ph.D in chemical engineering, the company’s turnover in the last financial year was over Rs 100 crore.
Initially a domestic producer, SMPP now exports protection solutions to countries such as Germany, France, Australia, the UK, Russia and Israel.