World's Lightest Bulletproof Jackets at IIT-Delhi: Indian Researchers Make History

In a 15-year-long collaboration with DRDO, IIT-Delhi has created innovative bulletproof jackets from polymer and ceramic materials, making them the lightest in the world.

World's Lightest Bulletproof Jackets at IIT-Delhi: Indian Researchers Make History

Thursday August 17, 2023,

2 min Read

Researchers at the esteemed IIT-Delhi have achieved a groundbreaking feat in protective gear, crafting the world's lightest bulletproof jackets. These state-of-the-art jackets offer superior protection while significantly reducing weight, a crucial advantage for frontline soldiers.

The newly developed jacket, weighing a mere 8.2 kg, can withstand up to eight bullets from AK-series rifles. This is a marked improvement from the current bulletproof jackets worn by the Indian Army, which tip the scales at about 10.5 kg. Another variant, weighing 9.5 kg, offers resistance against six bullets from specific sniper rifles.

The inception of this transformative project traces back 15 years. Professor Naresh Bhatnagar from the Centre of Excellence on Personal Body Armour at IIT Delhi, recounted a pivotal moment in 2008. An Army Major, having faced enemy fire in service, highlighted the urgent need for a lighter bulletproof jacket. He emphasized the jackets of that era, predominantly iron-based, weighing between 22-25 kg, were cumbersome for soldiers in combat scenarios.

Setting the traditional aside, IIT-Delhi’s researchers have harnessed advanced polymer and ceramic materials for their innovative jackets. Professor Bhatnagar mentioned the profound academic investment in the project, stating, "25 M.Tech and 12 Ph.D. students contributed with theses on different facets of these jackets."

On the testing mechanism, Dr. Hemant Chauhan, a senior scientist at IIT Delhi, said, "Ballistic bullets were fired using gas guns for comprehensive testing." The jackets, having undergone rigorous evaluations, have been endorsed by the Bureau of Indian Standards.

With global attention on their innovation, the IIT-Delhi team is preparing to showcase their invention at a NATO conference in Germany. The researchers remain hopeful that their state-of-the-art protective gear will soon be safeguarding Indian soldiers on the frontlines.

IIT-Delhi's monumental advancement in bulletproof technology not only promises enhanced protection but also greater agility for soldiers, setting a new global benchmark. The commitment of academia and research in safeguarding lives speaks volumes about India's progressive strides in defense technology.