The Bhabha Atomic Reseach Centre (BARC) has developed Bhabha Kavach, a next-generation bulletproof jacket that is cheaper, lightweight. It has been named after Dr. Homi J. Bhabha, father of Indian nuclear programme. The jacket was developed at BARC’s Trombay centre in Mumbai in response to request from Ministry of Home Affairs and Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF).
Bhabha Kavach is made of boron carbide and carbon nanotube polymer composite and weighs just 6.6 kg. The materials used in it reduce weight by nearly 50% as compared to presently used heavy steel-armoured jackets that weigh between 10kg to 17kg. It has passed over 30 tests carried out by certified agencies. These materials have been indigenously developed at BARC and are spin-off from nuclear technology
Apart from being lighter, sturdier and more reliable, Bhabha Kavach is also cost effective. It will cost Rs 60,000-70,000 as compared to imported bulletproof jackets costing around Rs 1.5 lakh. Bhabha Kavach is able to withstand eight 7.62mm bullets fired from AK-47 rifle from distance of 5-10 metres. It can even withstand 5.56mm bullet of Indian Small Arms System (INSAS).
It is currently being tested by joint team of CRPF, Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) and Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). The northern command of Indian Army is also testing variant of jacket in Jammu & Kashmir. If jackets pass various tests, it will be manufactured by Mishra Dhatu Nigam Limited, a defence public sector unit.
Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC)
The BARC is India’s premier nuclear research facility based in Mumbai, Maharashtra. It is multi-disciplinary research center with extensive infrastructure for advanced research and development. Its R&D covers entire spectrum of nuclear science, engineering and related areas. BARC’s core mandate is to sustain peaceful applications of nuclear energy, primarily for power generation.