'India-made bullet proof jackets exported to 18 countries'

India-made bulletproof jackets are being exported to 18 countries, Minister of State for Defence Shripad Naik said on Wednesday but declined to name the nations citing “strategic requirements”.

Naik said industrial licences have been issued to 15 companies for manufacturing bulletproof jackets having production capacity in the country of over 10 lakh pieces per annum to meet domestic and export requirements.

“Bulletproof jackets are also being exported to 18 countries. In view of the strategic requirement, names of the countries are not disclosed,” Naik added.

Replying to another question, Naik said that in order to export light combat aircraft to other friendly countries, the platform has been showcased by way of flying displays at various foreign exhibitions by Hindustan Aeronautical Ltd.

Briefing about the platform has been given to various foreign delegations who have visited HAL facilities.

“The company has responded to Request for Information (RFI) from overseas. Formal Request for Quotation (RFQ) has not been received in order to process the proposal,” he added.

Responding to another question, he said an amount of Rs 90,048 crore has been proposed for capital acquisition (modernisation) in budget estimate (BE) 2020-21 under Defence Services Estimates, which is an increase of Rs 9,088.92 crore over BE 2019-20.

The total amount allocated for capital acquisition (modernisation) is 27.87 per cent of Defence Services Estimates.

In response to another question on China’s defence modernisation, Naik said no official data relating to this was with the ministry.

Naik, replying to another question, said the Army saw four cases of fratricide from 2017 to 2019, while the Air Force recorded one such case in 2019.

The minister said the government has taken several steps towards stress amelioration amongst troops.

This includes deployment of trained psychological counsellors, improvement in the quality of food and clothing, training in stress management, provision of recreational facilities, buddy system, leave concessions, approachability of seniors, facilities for movement of troops from border areas and establishing a grievance redressal mechanism at various levels.