This post is also available in: עברית (Hebrew)
The Indian Air Force will equip Its special forces with bullet-proof jackets. Learning lessons from experience of its Garud commandos during the Pathankot airbase attack, the Indian Air Force has started moving towards providing better protection to its Special Forces against terrorist bullets in close quarter combat.
In order to give them enhanced firepower, the Air Force is also seeking to buy new assault rifles for special forces, according to India Today.
“Learning our lessons from the attack, we are planning to buy advanced bullet proof jackets for our special forces which can provide protection against 7.62mm bullets fired from AK-47 and other assault rifles used by terrorists,” an Indian Air Force officer told the newspaper.
So far, the IAF has been using the bulky jackets which are not very effective against bullets fired from close ranges and are too heavy as they can hinder the movement of commandos during encounters with terrorists. Two recent terrorist attacks which caused the death of a commando corporal and the injury of another officer, reflected the fact that better protection should be provided to the troops.
Officials said the Garud forces had earlier also tried to procure jackets but the move did not yield any result as the jackets on offer were found to be wanting and could not meet the standards desired by the force.
The Air Force has also plans of expanding the size of its Garud forces as they are getting experience in anti-naxal duties and getting specialised training with foreign countries. Around 1,000 more troops have been sought by the Air Force from the government as it plans to provide better security to its air bases.
The Garud commandos use the Tavor assault rifles imported from Israel and will get more of them in near future as the case for its procurement is under process. Right after the Pathankot attack, the Air Force had moved in a proposal to raise the fortification of its 54 air bases around the country.