Currently, Navy uses imported suits weighing over 18 kg while this innovation weighs only about 1.8 kg. The cost of this suit is also much less

New Delhi: In what could be of huge benefit to not the Army and the Indian Air Force as well, the Navy through its innovation cell has come out with a fire suit that could boost the safety for pilots and foot soldiers.

Hyderabad-based firm Veera Tactical Dynamics has come out with a suit made of carbon nanotubes, which is basically aerogel-based fabric.

Defence sources said that the suit, which covers the body from below the face, can withstand temperatures from -200 degree Celsius to over 1,000 degree Celsius.

This means, they said, a person wearing this suit won’t suffer from extreme cold or high temperatures.

The Navy needs these suits because fire on board a surface vessel or a submarine has to be doused by the personnel on board. In the past, it has lost personnel in such hazardous actions.

The innovation is part of the Navy’s SPRINT initiative, which aims to support pole-vaulting in R&D Naval Innovation and Indigenisation Organisation (NIIO) and Technology Development Acceleration Cell.

The Navy, which held a briefing Wednesday for an upcoming seminar to showcase the products, played a small video showcasing a man wearing the suit having molten metal poured on while liquid nitrogen featured in another.

The suit is also able to prevent detection by infrared cameras, meaning its wearer will not emit any heat signature and thereby making detection through such devices impossible.

What adds to the uniqueness of the suit is that the Navy currently uses imported ones weighing over 18 kg, while this weighs only about 1.8 kg and the cost is also much less.

Asked if this technology is part of the 12 projects that were already given Acceptance of Necessity (AON) by the defence ministry which allows the navy to initiate the procurement process, Vice-Admiral Sanjay Jasjit Singh said it is still being tested.

“It is still undergoing trials. We are going through a stringent process… we are waiting for it to be a product,” the Navy vice-chief said, adding that this could figure in the next or the third tranche of innovations for which AON will be given.

To a question on whether the Army and the IAF were informed about the innovation, he replied in the affirmative and added that they were “equally waiting for” for the innovation to mature.

The IAF is interested in the suit because this will come handy for the pilots to escape fatal burns in event of a crash.

For the Army, it will come handy since soldiers will be able to avoid detection by infrared cameras and sighting systems which pick up body heat signatures alerting the enemy.