Srinagar: In the recent gunfight in south Kashmir’s Shopian, security forces had recovered 36 rounds of steel-core bullets following which they have started strengthening the bullet-proofing shield of their vehicles and bunkers, a report said on Sunday.
Steel bullets can pierce through normal protective shields.
A few days back, local commander of the Jaish-e-Mohammed militant group, Vilayat Hussain Lone alias Sajjad Afghani, was killed in an encounter at Shopian. The army had recovered 36 rounds of armed steel-core bullets, PTI reported.
The recoveries, the report said, raised alarm bells within the security establishment as these bullets can harm personnel even wearing a regular protective shield.
Officials, according to PTI, said the vehicles, especially those deployed in South Kashmir, and personnel moving for anti-militancy operations are equipped with shields which have an extra layer of protection for blunting such penetrative bullets.
“The ammunition normally used in the AK series rifles was being modified from across the border with the help of Chinese technology of encasing bullets with hard steel core,” the news report quoted officials saying.
The bullet, termed Armour Piercing (AP), is built of hardened steel or tungsten carbide, they explained.
The first incident of use of ”steel core” bullet was noticed on the New Year eve of 2017 when JeM militants had carried out a suicide attack on a CRPF camp in Lethpora in South Kashmir.
Five paramilitary personnel were killed in the attack and one of them was hit by a bullet fatally despite using a static bullet-proof shield provided by the Army.
Normally, the bullets terrorists use in their assault rifles have a lead core covered with mild steel which cannot penetrate a bullet-proof shield, but after the December 31, 2017 encounter and a detailed analysis, forces had to change the way they protected themselves, the officials in the report said.
They said that the militants, mainly from Jaish group, were armed with the best possible arsenal including M-4 carbines and bullets with steel core, with the capability to pierce a static bullet proof bunker used during counterterrorism operations.
(With inputs from PTI)