India Gets First Foreign Ballistic Testing Facility
12:00 AM, April 13, 2012
U.S based engineering conglomerate DuPont unveiled its first-ever Asia pacific integrated ballistic centre in Hyderabad on 12, April that will solely focus on developing solutions using local ammunition specific to Indian security requirements. The state-of-the-art facility, modeled after DuPont’s three other facilities in the U.S, Switzerland and Brazil, will focus on developing solutions and applications for protective vests and helmets using Kevlar based on threat levels, climatic conditions and the load a soldier can carry. Testing of the soft armor and helmet and the stab test equipment assembled in one centre can “reduce lead time significantly”, says Yati Waghray, technology leader at the DuPont Knowledge Centre in Hyderabad. “It is important to protect the people who protect us. So, we need to understand the unique Indian needs ensuring that the soldier feels both confident and comfortable,” said Waghray. While India already has other ballistic centres set up by the DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) and Ordnance Factories, DuPont intends to work with the local defense forces. “It’s not a competition, more like collaboration with the DRDO and the military to begin developing larger capabilities,” said Waghray. However, it was unclear if the latest DuPont Ballistic in Hyderabad will be available to India’s neighbors. Rajeev Vaidya, DuPont president (South Asia) simply called it “the first step in a long journey” and refused to elaborate any further. India’s other major ballistics research facility is the DRDO’s Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory (TBRL) which became fully operational in 1968. While Tata Advanced Materials Limited became the first company in India to develop the light weight Bullet Proof Jacket which could prevent SLR and Ak-47 bullets from penetrating.