Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is helping Indian textile industries produce yarns to end the reliance on imports of Chinese and other foreign clothing for making military uniforms.
Director of Directorate of Industry Interface and Technology management (DIITM) at DRDO, Dr Mayank Dwivedi said that for Indian army's summer uniform alone, the approximate requirement of the fabric is 55 lakh metres and if all the requirements of Navy, Air Force and Para Military forces are added then the requirement may go well beyond 1.5 crore metres per annum.
"We're following our Prime Minister Narendra Modi's call for Atmanirbhar Bharat or self-reliance in all the products in India and particularly in defence products. If these yarns and fabric are manufactured in India for the purpose of uniform making for the armed forces, then it will be big achievement as it will help us move one step ahead towards Atmanirbhar Bharat," Dr Mayank Dwivedi told ANI.
The advanced fabrics can be used for future requirement of the parachute and bulletproof jackets as well.
The DIITM Director further said that the scope of technical textiles such as glass fabric, carbon fabric, aramid fabric and advanced ceramic fabrics is enormous in defence application. Some industries in Ahmedabad and Surat are manufacturing advanced fabrics being used in defence applications.
In a recent digital interaction organised by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) with the industries of Surat on September 17, the challenges faced by the textile industry were projected. During the interaction, Dr Dwivedi had talked about opportunities in the areas of textile in the defence sector. He expressed his views on various possibilities of advance textile material and fabric used in the Indian Armed Forces.
"We are working to make technical textile for rocket motors and composite structure for the missile system. We are using technical textile in bullet-proof jackets as well. Similarly, I shared the idea of making blends like nylon 6,6 yarn, lycra fibre, viscose, polyester to make army uniforms at the CII webinar in the Surat industry recently. For a particular requirement of the Indian armed forces, the uniform can be made in a much better way," Dr Dwivedi told ANI.
The major application of advanced textile is required in the uniform worn by the Indian Armed Forces as well as all their accessories such as bags, shoes and tents which are used by the Forces
It was emphasised that the use of advanced textiles blends using yarns of polyester/ nylon 6,6 / cotton/polyurethane/rayon will enhance operational capabilities and comfort of Indian Armed Forces.
Pointing towards the initiative and the participation of Indian companies, he said, "In the webinar, more than 200 companies were interested in getting into this business. Bindal Silk Pvt Ltd, Lakshmipati Group among a few others were present and wanted to take up this initiative. This will not only boost the economy of the country but also generate lots of employment and eventually give a boost to the GDP also."
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