One of India’s most pressing challenges is the formidable AK-47 and the critical need to shield military and paramilitary personnel against its deadly rounds. The Indian Army, entrusted with the defence of a nation full of potential security risks, is at the forefront of addressing this menace. MKU Limited, a renowned Indian defence solutions provider, has risen to the occasion with the global launch for an AK-47 rifle protection helmet at Milipol Paris. This gigantic leap in technology not only addresses a long-standing necessity but also cements India’s growing presence on the global defence stage.

Historically, India’s armed forces have grappled with a persistent problem: how to protect against the serious threat posed by AK-47 bullets. This issue became especially clear in the early 1990s when Indian troops were sent to deal with insurgency in Jammu and Kashmir. These troops had Model 1974 fiberglass helmets that, despite looking strong, could not provide sufficient protection against bullets and splinters of the enemy. It was then that Major General V.K. Datta then was appointed to create the ‘bulletproof patka’ helmet, which is still used for counterinsurgency operations. This helmet is made of a circular sheet of armored steel wrapped in canvas, designed to protect against bullets. But, it often failed to reduce the impact of bullet hits and also posed the harming nearby soldiers due to rebound. The Indian Army, since then has made numerous efforts to counter the challenge of high-risk threats, in exploring advanced technologies for India’s forces.

Over the years, numerous security incidents throughout India’s history have highlighted the urgent need to equip personnel with superior protective gear.

  • The infamous 26/11 Mumbai attacks commenced with grenades and AK-47 assault rifles, compelling security forces to respond with their standard-issue weapons, including 9mm pistols, self-loading rifles (SLR), and AK-47s.
  • In September 2016, the Uri attacks added to the growing list of incidents involving AK-47 rifles. The methods used in the attack, which took place in the border town of Uri on the Indian side of Kashmir, matched the tactics of the Pakistani militant group Jaish-e-Mohammad. The weapons found on the four attackers killed in the incident included grenade launchers and AK-47 rifles.
  • More recently, in October 2023, nearly 700 armed individuals attempted to raid a police camp in Imphal, looting advanced weapons most of which were AK-47s.

Collectively, these incidents underscore a glaring reality that the Indian Army, Para SF and Homeland Security forces may currently be operating with inadequate protection against growing threats. The existing helmets, initially designed to combat the 9mm threat, are ill-suited to handle the more potent AK-47 rounds frequently used by militants.

The Indian Army ordered 158,000 ballistic helmets from MKU Limited in 2018, the largest order in 2 decades for India which was delivered around 2020. However, this order was for 9mm handgun protection. This soon proved insufficient in the face of the more powerful AK-47 rounds used by enemy operators, due to which a solution emerged in the form of a modular ceramic plate, designed by another manufacturer, to complement these helmets. However, this interim solution was also far from sustainable.

By this time, MKU had already embarked on an intensive 5-year journey of R&D to develop the technologies required to safeguard military, paramilitary and homeland security personnel from the crushing impact of AK-47 bullets. Enter Milipol Paris, one of the largest exhibitions globally for Defence and Homeland Security, where the company has finally unveiled this revolutionary product: An AK-47 rifle protection helmet! This helmet does not just protect against AK-47 threats, but it also marks the first helmet in the word to be able to take up to 5 shots of the bullet while still safeguarding it’s operator’s life.

This solution represents hasn’t just set benchmark in defence technology, it has also put India on the global map for the world to see!

As the defence community is taken by storm with this unveiling, the hope is that MKU’s Kavro Doma 360 will soon equip defence and paramilitary units, both in India and beyond.

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