The Indian Army will soon get 500 customised high-mobility vehicles that will be beneficial for fast troop deployment in a variety of terrains and harsh temperatures — desert, plains, or heights. The Ministry of Defence has made a second request in less than a week. The first was for the acquisition of tiny surveillance drones to be used in the Himalayas.
The Ministry of Defence (MoD) issued a Request for Information (RfI) for such vehicles, which would be employed to secure the Line of Actual Control (LAC) in the Himalayas, on Thursday. These vehicles should be able to operate at altitudes of more than 17,000 feet, be armed, and be shielded from hostile fire.
What is RfI?
This is the initial stage of the tendering procedure, as previously reported in Financial Express Online. Once this is issued, the suppliers are given a time restriction to reply with specifics about what they can offer. Following receipt of responses to the RfI, the suppliers will be narrowed down and a Request for Proposal will be issued. In this scenario, it is likely to be granted later this winter, and after suppliers get the RfP, the trials are planned to take place within six to nine months. These will take place in locations over 17,000 feet in elevation – deserts and plains.
The MoD issued a request for information (RFI) for a ‘protected mobility vehicle’ (PMV) capable of operating in harsh temperatures ranging from 40 degrees Celsius to -15 degrees Celsius and with a top speed of 80 kilometres per hour. These vehicles should be able to transport a minimum of ten men with combat loads and feature a four-wheel-drive mode and an automated gearbox.
These vehicles must be less than 14 tonnes in weight and capable of carrying roughly 2 tonnes of payload – equipment and men – in order to be employed at a high altitude of 17,000 feet. These vehicles must also be heated and have functional air conditioning in order to be deployed in various terrains. The Indian Army wants to safeguard the vehicles against grenade and mine attacks.
There should also be a platform on which a 7.62 mm light machine gun (LMG) may be installed, as well as 11 ports on the side (5 on each port side, one at the back, and one on the starboard) allowing personnel to fire from within. Because there are multiple swift-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 that assist defend the soldiers inside. This defence might include resistance to both assaults and mine bursts.
Why do they require this security?
Those travelling may be members of a fast response team on their way to a conflict zone, or they may be members of a patrolling party on their way to border areas. They might also be members of a scouting group travelling behind enemy lines or in front of their own soldiers.
Are these automobiles made in India?
According to Financial Express Online, Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) delivered the first Infantry Protected Mobility Vehicles (IPMV) in April (IPMVs). It was given to Gen MM Naravane, then Chief of Army Staff. This vehicle was created in partnership with the Defence Research and Development Organisation by TASL (DRDO).