Thermoplastic Carbon Fabric (TCF) technology has been indigenously developed and patented by Dr Bhowmik, the Head, Research & Projects and Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, Amrita University, Coimbatore. This fully indigenous technology on high performance composite material can be used for the manufacture of bullet proof jackets and helmets besides a vast array of other applications in the defence and aviation sector. It has the potential to give a boost to the government’s ‘Make In India’ initiative, while catering to the protection needs of the Indian Army through high technology solutions for military modernisation.
AS per Dr Bhwmik,”The Light weight Heigh Temperature” Thermoplastic Composite can prove to be a game changer for India’s defence and aviation sector,” A Bullet proof jacket made from materials would as against currently available vests with similar protection but weighing around 10-13 kgs. For the infantry, this dramatic reduction in wright would be a great boon which would enable the troops to operate with greater efficiency in difficult situations.
The bullet proof vests and helmets in use currently by the Indian forces are very heavy, causing a lot of discomfort and leaving the Armed Forces personnel at a disadvantage during an encounter with heavily- armed terrorists. The requirement for light weight equipment is hence a priority item for the Armed Forces. If the light weight bullet proof vests and helmets are produced in bulk within the country, it will ensure low-cost supplies and an end to the endless wait for foreign vendors to supply the equipment.
Dr Bhowmik has stated that the Army has acknowledged that this technology has tremendous potential for the Defence forces. This took place during his interaction with the Army as part of the trilateral Army-Industry-Academia dialogue. Dr Bhowmik added that in its first compendium of problem statements by the Indian Army, the latter talks of the TCF technology developed by him.“The Army has acknowledged that this technology promises to offer solutions for the futuristic requirement of high performance composite material in various fields including defence, aerospace, medical, automobiles and others.”
We are currently used material with similar Properties raw material to be imported, this composite has been prepared with material which is available in India in abundance. Thus products developed using this composite will be fully indigenous thus achieving 100% self-reliance with zero outflow of capital to foreign countries.Presently, procurement is being done through foreign ventures like Hexel, DuPont, Victrex and others. Other than the bullet proof jackets, the TCF technology can also be utilised for AFVs, bullet proof vehicles and mines/ blast protected vehicles, UAVs, LCAs Supersonic Aircrafts, Long Distance Missiles besides hardening of critical shelters for Army and BSF personnel in border areas.
SELF-SUFFICIENCY IN DEFENCE PRODUCTION
Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) has drawn up plans to make India self-sufficient in production of arms and ammunition with the twin objectives of reducing imports and meeting nation requirements. “ewe creating adding capacities also” the production of T-90 tanks and Pinaka rockets at the various ordnance factories”, S K Chowrasia, member, OFB, said. Chowrasia, who is slated to assume the office of chairman of the board from December one, also stated that work was on to create additional antitank ammunition capacity under Project Mango in technical collaboration with Russia.The OFB has also started production of Bimodular Charge Systems (propellants) at its factory at Nalanda for high-calibre artillery guns, Dhanush and Bofors, with the objective to meet the country’s demand, he said. India also carries out limited exports of ammunition. It has an order from the UAE worth Rs. 155 mm shells of ammunition to countries of South Asia, Indonesia, Germany The primary purpose however remains to meet the nation’s demands. The OFB had also undertaken designing of Future Infantry Combat Vehicle for the Indian Army in collaboration with the IITs.