Jai Hind future warriors today we are going to discuss the top vehicles used by the Indian Army, both in operations and during peacetime. As is natural to be expected these vehicles will have options of the armoury in case they are needed to attack.
We will be considering 5 top vehicles as follows:
- Mahindra Armoured Light Specialist Vehicle
- Kalyani M4
- Mahindra MPV-I
- Renault Sherpa
- Mahindra Marksman
Then we will list the honourable mentions (vehicles that are badass but we have to keep the article short) followed by two vehicles taking us on a nostalgia ride (no these vehicles are still in use)
Let’s start our article with the first vehicle:
Mahindra Armoured Light Specialist Vehicle
- The Mahindra Armoured Light Specialist Vehicle (ALSV) is a light armoured specialist vehicle built for use by military and defence forces. It’s designed to be a modular type vehicle allowing for efficient maintenance and it can be upgraded or configured in the field for a wide variety of operational roles. The ALSV offers ballistic protection up to B7, STANAG Level II.
- The ALSV provides protected mobility for the front, side and rear as per STANAG Level I Ballistics and Blast for four crewmembers with a battle load having ample storage space for arms and ammunition inside the crew compartment and an additional 400 Kgs cargo load-carrying capacity. It can also be upgradable up to STANAG – II Ballistics.
- The Mahindra ALSV’s key characteristics include the powerful 3.2 Lts, 215 HP multi-fuel diesel engine with 4/6 Speed Automatic Transmission, 4X4 with front and rear differential locks, 1,000 Kgs payload capacity, self-recovery winch, and high travel all-wheel independent suspension with central type inflation system.
- The ALSV features a self-cleaning-type exhaust scavenging and air filtration system for extreme dusty climates, which makes it ideal for deserts. Its maximum speed is > 120 Kmph, and acceleration – 0 to 60 Kmph in 12 seconds; it has 30-degree gradability with parking brake holding capacity in full GVW, and 50 Kms run-flat system on all five wheels as per FINABEL standard.
- The Mahindra ALSV’s variants include the 6 to 8-seater – Armoured Protection Vehicle for Security; Light Armoured Ambulance; Command and Control Vehicle, Light Mortar 81/82mm Vehicle, Ammunition Carrier for Light Weapons.
- Kalyani M4 joined Indian Army’s fleet earlier this year after it was successfully tested in Ladakh during tensions with China. It is a multi-purpose armoured vehicle that will be used for transporting troops at high altitudes in regions with harsh climates.
- The Kalyani M4 is designed predominantly as an extraction and occupant protection vehicle. Its design offers high speed and quick manoeuvrability. It is reported to have a maximum payload of 2.3 tonnes and can carry up to 8 people. With all the armour, the M4 itself weighs 16 tonnes. Its 43-degree approach and 44-degrees departure angle with a water wading depth of 900 mm make it ideal for tough terrain or fording rivers.
- The Kalyani M4 uses a turbocharged 6-pot diesel motor which is rated to deliver 465hp and a whopping 1627 Nm of torque. It uses a CVT automatic transmission. But it also features a low-range gearbox to work with the 4×4 system to help scale difficult steep inclines. The M4 maxes out at 140 kph and its fuel tank is large enough to help it cover a range of 800 km.
- Mahindra Mine-Protected Vehicle-I (MPV-I), is a Mine-Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) Type Armoured Personnel Carrier and a Specialist Off-road Vehicle. The MPV-I is powered by a ruggedized 230 HP diesel engine, paired with a 6×6 transmission.
- The Mahindra MPV-I combines excellent ballistic and mine protection, with a top and side protection of CEN Level B6, and blast protection up to Stanag Level 4A.
- The MPV-I delivers power, stability and gives the utmost reliability under extreme conditions
- Top: Withstand the direct hit of 7.62×51 mm ball, 5.56×45 mm, 7.62×39 mm ammunition from a distance of 10 metres at a 90° angle of attack.
Mine Blast Protection:
- Side Mine Protection: IED 10kgs TNT (Minimum) from a distance of 5 metres and height of 1.5 metres from the ground.
- Bottom Under-Carriage: Protected against landmine blast of a Minimum of 14kg of TNT and equivalent under the hull and a minimum of 21kg of TNT and equivalent under the tyre of the vehicle.
- BAE Land Systems OMC conducted a landmine certification test on the Mahindra MPV-I and concluded that the vehicle structure provides adequate protection to the occupants of the vehicle against 14kg TNT explosives underneath the hull of the vehicle and 21kg TNT explosives underneath the rear wheel of the vehicle.
All Sides: Can withstand a direct hit of 7.62×51 mm ball, 5.56×45 mm, 7.62×39 mm ammunition from a distance of 10 metres at a 90° angle of attack.
- The Renault Sherpa Light family of tactical vehicles is actually used by multiple defence forces in India, including the National Security Guard (NSG) and the Central Industrial Security Force (CISF). It features an especially designed 4×4 chassis and the vehicle has a high payload capacity. Renault Sherpa’s heavily armoured version is also being used by defence forces like CRPF to conduct anti-militance operations as the vehicle can withstand explosions. It can also accommodate four personnel that can fire from within.
- Renault Sherpa used by NSG, they are fully armoured. It is used by the force for counter-terrorism operations. The Sherpa used by the forces is fully customised to suit the needs. It comes with a fully armoured body, ladders and appendages that allow the commandos to access or reach places that are normally not possible. The Renault Sherpa is actually built by Renault Trucks Defence, a defence-oriented subsidiary of the French automaker.
- Sherpa is a huge and heavy vehicle and in order to move this huge vehicle, you need a big and powerful engine too. Renault Sherpa uses a 4.76-litre turbocharged diesel engine that generates 215 Bhp and 800 Nm of peak torque. The engine is mated to an automatic gearbox and a 4×4 transfer case is available as standard. The Sherpa has a payload of 2.2 tons and the version that is used by NSG commandos can carry up to 10 personnel in 2+8 format.
- Sherpa is a rugged-looking vehicle from the outside. It looks well-built and has a boxy design to it. The Renault Sherpa has a no-nonsense and practical design both on the outside and inside the cabin. The Renault Sherpa when fully loaded weighs around 11 tons and has a top speed of around 110 kmph. This Armoured Personnel Carrier has a range of up to 1,000 km on a full tank diesel.
- As mentioned above, Renault Sherpa is built to go anywhere and it has a list of optional accessories to achieve it. Renault Sherpa has a water wading capacity of 1.1 meters. This can be increased or extended up to 1.5 meters by installing certain accessories. Sherpa can also be installed with a central tyre inflation system that helps increase and decrease the tyre pressure depending on the surface on which it is being driven. It is also fitted with run-flat tyres and comes with ABS as standard.
- In some parts of the world, Renault is also selling a civilian version of Sherpa. The civilian version of Sherpa cost around Rs 2 crore and it might also remind you of Humvee. It is however not available in India.
Mahindra Defence Systems has made several armoured vehicles for defence forces, including the Mahindra Marksman.
- The Mahindra Marksman is a lightly armoured personnel carrier built on a monocoque design. Marksman provides B6 level ballistic protection for up to 6 (4+2) against the defence, paramilitary and police personnel.
Role of Mahindra Marksman
- The five-side armouring of the passenger compartment (roof and verticals) provides protection against 7.62x51mm NATO ball ammunition and 2x DM 51 grenades. The floor is blast protected against detonation of two DM-51 German ordnance hand grenades or equivalent.
- Mahindra Marksman also has a cupola turret machine gun mount with 270* traverse and protection. The ballistic steel interior frame provides overlap and backup protection for impact areas, such as doors and windows. The rear area is protected by an armoured swing door featuring view glass and a gun port. Heavy-duty door hinges were installed to compensate for the additional armoured weight of all doors.
- The Mahindra Marksman is available in both right-hand drive and left-hand drive and has the capability to be used in the counter-terrorist operation, border protection and riot control as well as conventional roles.
Other Honourable Mentions
- Tata Merlin
- Mahindra Meva Straton Plus APC
- Tata whAP
- Tata Safari Storme GS800
Now I will list two vehicles every one of us (no matter if you lived in a cantt or not) has seen, something of a nostalgia for us, falling in love with the olive green for the first time.
Maruti Suzuki Gypsy
- The car joined the Indian Army’s fleet all the way back in 1985 — the same year it was launched in India. Though Maruti Suzuki ceased production of the Gypsy for the masses in 2018, the iconic SUV got a new lease of life when the Indian Army acquired a waiver from the Ministry of Defence so as to allow the company to produce additional units for our country’s forces. The SUV is used by armed forces as a patrolling vehicle as its robust construction makes it suitable for handling challenging terrains. The open-top option also allows forces to turn it into a gun carrier.
Royal Enfield Bullet
- Perhaps the most prominent Indian motorcycle of all time, the Royal Enfield Bullet has been a long-time companion of the Indian Army. This started way back in 1952 when the Indian Army gave an order of 500 units of Bullet 350 to the motorcycle maker demanding durability, reliability, and adequate performance over challenging terrains. To date, Royal Enfield continues to be the preferred choice for the Indian army.
Hope the post was informative for you!
For more such posts related to defence exams and SSB interviews stay tuned.