US approves $75 mn chemical protective gear for Indian soldiers
The US has approved $75 million high-tech chemical protective clothing for the Indian armed forces that will protect soldiers against biological and chemical warfare. The Joint Service Lightweight Integrated Suit Technology (JSLIST) consists of 38,034 each: suits, pairs of trousers, pairs of gloves, pairs of boots and NBC bags; 854 aprons; 854 alternative aprons; 9,509 Quick Doff Hoods; and 114,102 M61 filters. The entire package also includes 38,034 M50 general purpose masks.
The Defence Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) made a notification to the Congress on May 10 after the State Department made a determination in this regard.
India had made a request for these special clothing as part of its military modernization programme.
In its notification to the Congress, the DSCA said this proposed sale will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States, by helping to improve the security of a friendly country which has been, and continues to be, an important force for political stability and economic progress in South Asia.
The Indian Government, it said, intends to use these defence articles and services to modernise its armed forces. "This will contribute to the Indian military's goal to update its capability while enhancing the relationship between India and the United States," DSCA said.
"The proposed sale of this equipment and support will not alter the basic military balance in the region," the DSCA said.