Lives of 1, 86,318 Indian armies personal are at risk. The protective armor which helps them to save their life has now become a threat to them as the raw materials of the bulletproof jackets are taken from China. Although it was clarified by the officials of the manufacturing company that the quality of the vests is not compromised and the vests made up of Chinese raw material also meet quality standards, whereas, army officials choose to remain silent on this matter.
What Report Says;
According to The Economic Times, Chinese materials have found their way to the Indian Army armors and bulletproof vests. It said that 40% of the jacket material fabric and boron carbon white powder are being imported from China. Quoting the executive director of SMPP Mr. Ashish Kansal, during the selection process SMPP presented jackets that contain raw material imported from other countries like the Netherlands but it changed the supplier later on.
The company SMPP is the vendor which supplies the bulletproof jackets to the Indian Army. Initially, it took the raw material from the USA and Netherlands, but then it shifted to China in order to cut the cost as the USA and Netherlands have also started buying their raw material from China. The Chinese company has got a great project of 68 crores for bulletproof jackets from the Indian army. Officials of the Indian Army have said that the first lots of 10,000 jackets are being accepted after a series of firing tests to check for quality.
Clarification of SMPP
In the interview given by SMPP to the Economics Times, they said “yes, we have changes the suppliers’ ad have informed the army about it. There is no change of quality and the jackets are of the same standard that was tested”. He also said that this changing of suppliers has driven down the costs by going directly to the manufactures, of the material instead of western suppliers that were getting it from the same.
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Mr. VK Saraswat, who is a former DRDO Chief, told India Today, “It is a market force; we cannot do much about this. The only thing is if we find that the bulletproof jackets produced by the Chinese material are not up to the mark, then we will have to say, as of now there is no such report”. He further added that they have done standardization of bulletproof jackets. The standards have been already laid by the Bureau of Indian Standards.
Our Take on This
The question which arises here is that are we not capable to manufacture the armor within our country? What is the issue which is becoming stymie in the path of Indian manufactures to manufacture armor for our own army? The idea of manufacturing lightweight bulletproof jackets in India was mooted, for a mere reason of cost. They choose Chinese companies because of their lower cost.
Indian companies like Kanpur based MKU and Tata Advanced Materials exports body armor to armed forces of different countries but not India. Why so?
China, a country which claims our territory to be its own, a country which is trying to put pressure on Indian army, a country whose major source of foreign revenue in India and in turn uses that money make weapons against us. Is it wise of us to buy the armor for our soldiers from that country?
It has shown its wrong intention by again starting the face-offs near LAC in Sikkim and also by breaking out and setting up the bunkers in the Indian Territory. They have also started the preparations of the war by enhancing the ammunitions at the border and deploying the aircraft. We should stop trading with China, especially when it comes to buying the armor. The lives of our soldiers are invaluable and we cannot put them at risk for a mere amount of money.