INDIAN ARMY GLOBAL HUNTS FOR ARMOURED VEHICLES
By Bulbul Singh
25 Mar 09. The Indian Army has entered the global defence market to procure unspecified numbers of Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) along with ammunition for the cannons to be mounted on the vehicles. The Indian Army entered the global market rather than the earlier practice of buying multi-utility vehicles only from the Indian market as it wants to get better products at competitive rates.
Bids have been sent to defence companies in United States, Russia, Ukraine, Poland, Italy, United Kingdom and Germany. Unspecified numbers of APCs worth over $300 million along with variety of ammunition are to be procured. The Indian Army is hunting for mobile and secure APCs to be used by the specialised forces.
The APC should have high power-to-weight ratio, good acceleration, agility and mobility over varied types of terrain and should be air-portable with the aircraft in service. The vehicle should have a weapon mix of cannon, coaxially mounted machine gun, Automatic Grenade Launcher and should be able to carry 10 personnel and operate in ambient temperatures conditions of 15 degrees Celsius to +48 degrees Celsius.
The weight of the APC should not exceed 22 tons, height should not exceed 2.8 meters including vision devices, and length should not exceed 8 meters and should have a ground clearance of 450 mm. The power-to-weight ratio of the engine should be minimum 18 HP/ton.
The APC should be able achieve minimum speed of 70kms/hour on road, and have a cross-country speed of 40kms/hr and have a cruising range on road of minimum 500 kilometres and 250 kilometres on cross country.
The wheeled APC should be capable of mounting an Anti Tank Guided Missile system in service with the Indian Army and the 25-40 mm AGL gun mounted on the APC should be able to fire high explosive with an ammunition carriage of not less than 300 rounds. The bore of the cannon on the APC should be 25mm to 40 mm and should be able fire at targets including helicopters at adistance of 2500 meters. The APC should be protected against the effect of Nuclear Biological and Chemical contamination.
The decision to hunt for light multi-utility vehicles came after incidents of accident reported by the Rakshak bullet proof vehicles purchased in 2005 purchased from the domestic Mahindra Defence, said sources in the Indian Army.
Criticising the purchase of Rakshak bullet proof vehicles purchases a report of India India’s autonomous Audit agency, the Comptroller and Audit General (CAG), titled CAG Report No CA 4 of 2008 (Defence Services), tabled in Indian Parliament, in March 2008 had observed “Audit examination disclosed that in both the cases, the procurement process was non-competitive, technical trials were diluted by waiving requirements that compromised the quality of
The Indian Army plans to purchase over 5000 light strike military vehicles over the next five years. The requirements of the Indian Army include four wheel drive; high power-to-weight ratio vehicles and capable of travelling at 80km/hour and carry rocket launchers and Global Positioning System navigation systems.
Currently the Indian Army is using around 2,000 Russian BMP-1
and BMP-2 multipurpose armoured vehicles, equipped with anti-tank
missiles and other weapons.