Indian Army approves 'made-in-India' gear for Siachen troops
Made-in-India thermal insoles, snow goggles, ice axes, boots, mountaineering equipment, and sleeping bags will be provided to soliders stationed in Siachen and Doklam.
India, which spends Rs 800 crore annually to import extreme Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) and mountaineering kits, has okayed a project to manufacture specialised clothing, sleeping kits, and equipment for armymen deployed in the world's highest and most dangerous battlefield - Siachen.
The government has decided to produce the military equipment indigenously to boost the Make-in-India initiative.
Indian soldiers deployed at heights ranging from 16,000 to 20,000 feet - in Siachen and Doklam - will use the new gear at a location that is strategic to India and Pakistan. Both countries have been deploying their troops on the glaciers since 1984.
The indigenous production will be done through a private Indian sector, which is yet to be disclosed. The army aims to save nearly Rs 300 crore every year by producing the euipment, currently sourced from countries like the US, Canada, Australia, and Switzerland. The gear that will be produced in India includes thermal insoles, snow goggles, ice axe, boots, avalanche victim detector, rock pitons, karabiner-related mountaineering equipment, and sleeping bags, reports NDTV.
At present, Indian army troops deployed at Siachen glacier have the latest Swiss winter gear that includes trousers, jackets and gloves. Army authorities had observed that the imported gear was bulky and uncomfortable on high altitudes. The Swiss gear helps troops in weather conditions where the temperature falls below minus 50 degree Celsius. The clothing provided is three-layered ECWCS and costs ₹35,000 each, reports DNA India. The gear is also used by troops deployed at Dokham, one of the critical points between India and China.