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India
12 Aug 2018

Indian soldiers at Siachen to get special indigenous clothing, equipment

Army personnel at Siachen to get special clothing,equipment

The army is manufacturing special clothing and equipment for its forces posted at the Siachen glacier - considered the world's most dangerous battlefield.

The project is in its last phase.

Till now, it has been spending Rs. 800cr annually for importing Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) and relevant mountaineering kits from the US, Canada, Australia, and Switzerland.

With indigenous production, it would save Rs. 300cr.

In context

Army personnel at Siachen to get special clothing,equipment
Some products to be distributed in other high-altitude places

Details

Some products to be distributed in other high-altitude places

"We have almost finalized the project under which a large number of items required for troops deployed in Siachen Glacier will be manufactured in India through involvement of the private sector," a source told HT.

Items shortlisted include snow goggles, thermal insoles, boots, ice axe, mountaineering equipment and sleeping bags.

Some of these will also be allotted to forces in other similar locations, like Doklam.

Products to be divided into two categories depending on height

The project was first proposed 10 years ago. According to HT, several foreign firms have expressed interest in co-production. Now, products will be divided into two categories: those to be deployed among soldiers at 9,000-12,000ft, and the second category for those posted higher than 12,000ft.

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Challenges

Challenges at Siachen are several

India and Pakistan posted troops at Siachen in the Karakoram range, the highest militarized zone in the world, for the first time in 1984.

Soldiers posted there have to battle several factors. As temperatures go to minus 60 degrees, frostbites are common.

High winds, avalanches and landslides are a regular occurrence.

In the last 10 years, 163 personnel deployed at Siachen were lost.

Army recently got indigenously-made high-power tanks for the first time

Others

Army recently got indigenously-made high-power tanks for the first time

The government has taken up other 'Make in India' projects for the army too. Last month, Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman formally handed over two types of indigenously built high-power multi-fuel engines to the Vice Chief of Army Staff Devaraj Anbu.

The engines, manufactured by the Engine Factory in Avadi (Chennai), were fully-indigenized for the first time.

This would save Rs. 80cr every year.

Others

Army recently got indigenously-made high-power tanks for the first time

The government has taken up 'Make in India' projects for the army, not just for Siachen. Last month, Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman formally handed over two types of indigenously built high-power multi-fuel engines to the Vice Chief of Army Staff Devaraj Anbu.

The engines, manufactured by the Engine Factory in Avadi (Chennai), were fully-indigenized for the first time.

This would save Rs. 80cr every year.

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