The Indian Army Chief, General Dalbir Singh Suhag, has assured that soldiers will be provided with bulletproof jackets very soon. Speaking at an annual press conference in Delhi last week, he said that the process of procuring 1.86 lakh jackets has passed the technical trials. Currently the jackets are undergoing field trials.
According to a report in The Economic Times, this is the first time that the process of acquisition has cleared the technical stage since the procurement process began in 2009.
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There have been many setbacks in the entire process of purchasing these 1.86 lakh jackets since 2009, before the government issued a fresh proposal in 2012 and changed the qualitative requirements. As the technical trials have been cleared now, there isn’t much that can hamper the remaining procedure.
“In the field trials stage we just check the user comfort, weight etc. and no real technical issues. In case of bulletproof jackets, this stage is unlikely to create any bottleneck,” a senior Army official told The Economic Times.
Initially, 50,000 bulletproof jackets are being purchased as per the old qualitative guidelines to fulfil the urgent and essential requirements of soldier. These jackets are in the cost negotiation stage right now and will be available in a few months.