Army Finalises Made-In-India Production Of Extreme-Weather Gear For Siachen, Doklam Use

| August 12 , 2018 , 14:57 IST

India is home to the world's most dangerous extreme weather battle field on the Siachen glacier and also has extreme weather at the Doklam plateau, resulting in the nation spending nearly Rs 800 crore annually to equip the soldiers.

The Army is now giving final touches to a long-pending project for Make-In-India manufacture of specialised clothing, sleeping kits and other key equipment for soldiers deployed in extreme weather conditions, media reported on Sunday.

India currently imports Extreme Cold Weather Clothing System (ECWCS) and mountaineering kits for soldiers guarding the glacier at the heights ranging from 16,000 feet to 20,000 feet, from nations like the US, Australia, Canada and Switzerland.

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According to military sources quoted by PTI, indigenous production of these items would result in savings of nearly Rs 300 crore.

"We have almost finalised the project under which a large number of items required for troops deployed in Siachen Glacier will be manufactured in India through involvement of the private sector," said a source.

The items that would be produced in domestically in India include thermal insoles, snow goggles, ice axe, boots, avalanche victim detector, rock pitons, karabiner-related mountaineering equipment and sleeping bags, the sources said.

The high-altitude equipment would be divided into two categories, while the first category will be for use for those deployed between the heights of 9,000 feet to 12,000 feet, the second category will be for those personnel deployed above the height of 12,000 feet.

The Siachen Glacier in the Karakorum range is considered to be the highest militarised zone in the world where soldiers face frostbite, high winds, avalanches and landslides with temperatures as low as minus 60 degrees Celsius. India and Pakistan began deploying troops at the strategically located glacier since 1984 and in the past 10 years, the Indian Army has lost 163 personnel deployed at the Siachen Glacier.