India’s import dependence for extreme cold-weather clothing systems (ECWCS) — which equip soldiers to withstand extreme cold in high-altitude areas like Siachen — is now history.
Thanks to India’s first defence start-up specialising in defence clothing — AROO — soldiers are now being equipped with indigenous clothing systems.
ECWCS is a three-layer modular clothing system, worn together and designed to keep the body warm in temperatures of up to minus 50 degrees Celsius. It is worn by soldiers in high-altitude regions, including the Siachen Glacier, which is the highest battlefield in the world.
“It has been an honour for us to serve Indian soldiers through our indigenous solutions,” Munish Hinduja, one of AROO’S two founders, told ThePrint.
The first set of about 41,000 ECWCS was delivered in the second half of 2021.
With the Army confident about the product, they have re-ordered the indigenous ECWCS, rather than importing it from Switzerland, Vietnam or even Sri Lanka, as they earlier used to do.
While AROO does the research on the product, the manufacturing is handled by another company with which it has a tie-up. AROO, through its Bengaluru-based manufacturing partner, started the delivery of the latest set of ECWCS last week — its third since passing field trials in 2017.
“We can with pride comment that AROO ECWCS outperforms the imported clothing systems provided to the Indian Army. It also comes at a lower cost, thus providing savings to the Indian government. Furthermore, the Indian Army is no longer dependent on foreign companies for this life-saving apparel,” Hinduja added.
He said AROO is also in advanced field trials with the Indian Army for new extreme cold clothing (ECC) trousers, which provides protection in temperatures of up to minus 30 degrees Celsius