The Army, till recently, has been importing extreme cold weather clothing system from foreign countries

Giving a break to years long practice of spending millions of dollar on the purchase of special clothing for the Indian Army, DRDO designed extreme cold weather clothing system (ECWCS) was on Monday handed over to five Indian companies for manufacturing.

The Army, till recently, has been importing extreme cold weather clothing and several Special Clothing and Mountaineering Equipment (SCME) items for the troops deployed in high altitude regions, the Ministry of Defence said in a statement released on Tuesday.

The Ministry said DRDO designed ECWCS is ergonomically designed modular technical clothing with improved thermal insulation and physiological comfort based on the insulation required at various ambient climatic conditions in Himalayan regions during different levels of physical activity.

The ECWCS embodies physiological concepts related to reduction in respiratory heat and water loss, unhindered range of motions and rapid absorption of sweat while providing water proof, wind proof features with adequate breathability and enhanced insulation as well as strength features required for high altitude operations.

The three layered ECWCS is designed to suitably provide thermal insulation over a temperature range of +15 to -50° Celsius with different combinations of the layers and intensity of physical work.

Considering the widely fluctuating weather conditions in the Himalayan peaks, the clothing provides an advantage of fewer combinations to meet the required insulation or IREQ for the prevailing climatic conditions, thereby providing a viable import alternative for the Indian Army.

Speaking on the occasion, Dr G Satheesh Reddy, Secretary, Department of Defence R&D and Chairman Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) emphasized on the need for developing indigenous industrial base for SCME items, not only to cater to the existing requirements of the Army but also to tap its potential for export.