The Indian Army has begun the process to acquire 100,000 ‘AK-47 protected’ helmets to enhance the personal protection of its soldiers. A Request for Information (RFI) to acquire 100,000 ‘AK-47 protected’ helmets has been issued in June 2020 to Indian and global helmet manufacturers. The Request for Proposals will be issued in February next year. The budget for the procurement approxRs 500 Crores at estimated cost each helmet costs Rs 50,000.
The RFI envisages new helmet to have protection against the AK-47’s 7.62x39 mm Mild Steel Core and Hard Steel Core bullets from 10 metres. Addtionally, it also have to support various accessories like night-vision goggles, a torch, visors and face shields. These new helmets will replace the ‘bulletproof patka’ that has been in service since the 1990s and the stopgap helmet supplied by the Kanpur-based MKU in 2018. Previously, in 2018, the Army placed aRs 170 Crores order for 158,000 helmets from Kanpur-based firm MKU. The helmets were, however, found to offer inadequate protection against the AK-47 bullets. Subsequently, a stop-gap AK-47 protector - a modular ceramic add-on plate produced and designed by another manufacturer - was then issued to troops.