Indian Army to Procure Protected High-Mobility Vehicles for Difficult Terrains

Defence Industry

New Delhi: Within a week, the Ministry of Defence has sent out two request for information (RfI) – one for procuring small size surveillance drones to be deployed in the Himalayas and the second one for specialised high-mobility vehicles for rapid deployment of the troops when required in different terrains and extreme temperatures – desert, plains or altitudes.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) sent out a request for information (RfI) specialised high-mobility vehicles on May 12. The Indian Army is looking for 500 specialised high-mobility vehicles 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.

According to the RfI, 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, should have the capacity to carry a minimum of 10 troops with combat loads, have 4×4 drive mode and automatic transmission and should have speed of 80 km per hour.

Moreover, 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. As these vehicles are to be deployed in different terrains, it should have heating and air conditioning features. The vehicle according to the RfI should have the capability to sail across the rivers without any special preparation considering there are several fast flowing rivers and bridges to be crossed in the Himalayas.

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.

The specialised protected high-mobility vehicles (PMV) are wheeled armoured vehicles and it helps in providing protection to the soldiers sitting inside.  This protection could be against grenade attacks as well as mine blasts.

After receiving the details in response to the RfI, the vendors will be down selected and it’s expected that by winter Request for Proposal will be issued and later on the trials (within six to nine months) will be conducted in areas located above 17,000 feet – deserts and plains.

Recently, Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) had handed over the first ever Infantry Protected Mobility Vehicles (IPMVs) to the then Chief of Army Staff, Gen MM Naravane. The vehicle was developed and produced by TASL in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).