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The Indian Army looks for high-mobility vehicles for difficult terrains; Know more

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As has been reported earlier in Financial Express Online, this is the first stage of the tendering process. Once this is issued then the vendors are given a time limit to respond with details of what they can offer.

The Indian Army is soon going to get 500 specialized high-mobility vehicles which will be useful for rapid deployment of the troops when required in different terrains and extreme temperatures – desert, plains or altitudes. This is a second request in a span of a week by the Ministry of Defence. The earlier was for procuring small size surveillance drones to be deployed in the Himalayas.

On Thursday, the Ministry of Defence (MoD) sent out a Request for Information (RfI) for such vehicles which will be used for securing the Line of Actual Control in the Himalayas. These vehicles should be capable of being operated at a height of more than 17,000 feet, fitted with guns and be protected against enemy fire.

What is RfI?

As has been reported earlier in Financial Express Online, this is the first stage of the tendering process. Once this is issued then the vendors are given a time limit to respond with details of what they can offer.

On receiving details in response to the RfI, the vendors will be down selected and then Request for Proposal will be sent. In this case it is expected to be issued later this winter and once the vendors get the RfP, the trials are expected to take place within six to nine months. These will be conducted in areas located above 17,000 feet – deserts and plains.

The RfI from the MoD has sought for “protected mobility vehicle” (PMV), which should be capable of operating in extreme temperatures between 40 degree Centigrade to -15 degrees Centigrade and should be given 80 km per hour.

These vehicles should have the capacity to carry a minimum of 10 troops with combat loads and have 4×4 drive mode and automatic transmission.

 More specifications

To be used at a high altitude of 17,000 feet these vehicles have to be less than 14 tonnes of weight and have the capability to carry around 2 tonnes of payload – equipment and men. These vehicles also need to be heated and air conditioning working to be deployed in different terrains.

 The Indian Army wants the vehicles to be protected against grenade and mine blasts. Also, there should be a platform where a 7.62 mm light machine gun (LMG) can be mounted and there should be 11 ports on the side (5 on each of the port side, one at the rear and one on the starboard) for the troops to fire from inside.

Since there are several fast flowing rivers and bridges to be crossed in the Himalayas, the vehicle according to the RfI should have the capability to sail across the rivers without any special preparation to do so.

What is a PMV?

These are wheeled armoured vehicles and it helps in providing protection to the soldiers sitting inside.  This protection could be against attacks as well as mine blasts.

Why do they need this protection?

Those traveling could be part of the quick reaction team on their way to a conflict zone, or could also be part of a patrolling party on its way to the border areas. Or they could also be part of a reconnaissance party moving behind enemy lines or in forward positions of their own troops.

Are these vehicles manufactured in India?

As reported in Financial Express Online in April, the Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) had handed over the first ever Infantry Protected Mobility Vehicles (IPMVs). It was handed over to the then Chief of Army Staff, Gen MM Naravane.

This vehicle was produced by TASL which was developed in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).

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