BENGALURU: Armymen will soon be wearing lightweight helmets thanks to a deal struck between a Kanpur-based defence manufacturer company and the Ministry of Defence. They will manufacture 1.58 lakh ultra lightweight helmets for jawans. The deal worth Rs 180 crores has been awarded to MKU Industries.
The helmets will be nearly one kilo lesser than the old ones and will not contain any bolts. The helmets have the ability to bear the impact of 9mm ammunition fired from short range. They will be delivered to the Indian Army over the next three years in phases.
Rajesh Gupta the senior manager of MKU Industries, said, “The deal was made in December 2016. The production of the modern helmets has already begun. The helmet’s name is ‘Mukut’. Of the 1.58 lakh helmets, 30 per cent will have communication systems that will be exclusively for commandos. The Union government’s decision will lessen the burden on jawans. The previous helmets were made of steel, heavy and not soldier-friendly.”
A source in the ministry said, “This is the first large-scale order of helmets by the Army in more than two decades. Over a decade ago, Indian Army’s elite para special forces were given Israeli OR-201 helmets made with glass reinforced plastic.”
An undisclosed defence report said 26 per cent of soldiers who were killed in the Kargil War died of head injuries. “These new helmets will provide the much-needed safety in conflict situations,” said the source.
More important is its endurance during a mission. The helmets are being made using materials free of toxins and allergen. It also doesn’t allow water or moisture retention over prolonged usage, Gupta said.