A recent news clip brought a sigh of relief to a soldier reminiscing his days while operating in the North Western and Eastern Theatres of India’s vast borders. He had to make do with the old domed steel helmet and before hanging up his boots was introduced to the Fibre Reinforced Plastic(FRP) tortoise helmet, albeit the present day bike riders ‘Topee’.
MKU (originally M. Kumar Udyog) is an Indian Defence  company, headquartered in Kanpur (India). It was set up in 1985, manufacturing protection and surveillance range of equipment including ballistic helmets, vests, optical devices and other products and platforms matching world standards; including the UN and NATO requirements.
The Indian Ministry of Defence, realizing the acute need for ballistic protection for soldiers, armour plating for vehicles, tanks and ICV(Infantry Combat Vehicles) with latest technological advancements has placed orders for MKU’s ‘Mukut’ combat helmets using its Reduced Helmet Trauma technology (RHT). The RHT provides protection from bullets and fragments that reduces body injuries of head and skull. In addition, integration of communication systems and optics is envisaged in the Body equipment.
However, it is time that this type of helmet is urgently issued exponentially right from a recruit in the Regimental centre till the soldier in operations. The requirement being that a recruit is introduced and experiences this equipment in the earlier part of training itself, so that by the time he is posted in a sensitive location he is attuned to wearing the same. It is again time that our concerned authorities gave importance to “life” than making cannon fodder out of the elite forces. Money should not be a constraint to any Ministry when an individual’s life is threatened and now noticeably with China showing strong presence in our North and North Eastern borders and terrorists using latest technology, are a grave threat to our Uniformed personnel.
Never too late, the release of the first lot of 7500 ballistic helmets is a blessing to start with. It is hoped that further immediate release will be a motivation to all…. Indeed a ‘Divine respite for Warriors’!!!
Col Toms/

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