Mass production of bullet proof jackets Bhabha Kavach yet to kick start

Defence Industry

New Delhi: With additional bullet-speed test pending with the manufacturer, bulk production of the ‘Bhabha Kavach’, India’s indigenously developed bullet-proof jacket is yet to kick-start. The test will ensure that the jacket complies with the specifications of the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS).

The jacket’s maker, Kanpur-based state-owned Ordnance Equipment Factory (OEF), had given its final clearance for the mass production after successfully completing all tests as per home ministry specifications. However, an additional parameter was added after the BIS notified its standards for bullet-proof jackets earlier this year.

In accordance with the specifications of the Home Ministry, the OEF had succeeded in making the jacket strong enough to withstand bullets with speeds of 630 metres per second.

“However, BIS notifications issued in January this year specified that the jacket should be able to withstand bullet speeds of 700 metres per second. We had already completed our tests by the time ISI standards were notified. Further tests conducted on the jacket have proved that it can withstand bullet speeds of 685 metres per second. We are trying to test it for 700 metres per second through further tests,” a senior OEF official.

More tests are likely to be conducted at the Gandhinagar-based Gujarat Forensic Science University next month.

The OEF expects huge orders from the Army, Central paramilitary forces and provincial police forces for the ‘Bhabha Kavach’. As per sources, the Army had placed an order with a Palwal-based private company for a consignment of 2 lakh jackets.

“However, the company could only deliver 20,000 jackets. During demonstrations, the company had used raw material procured from the US for the jackets. However, examination of shipping consignments after delivery of final products showed that inferior Chinese raw material had been used,” the official said.

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