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Army plans to buy armoured vehicles for vulnerable areas

Source: PTI
July 15, 2009 11:37 IST
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In a bid to protect its troops in insurgency-affected areas, the army is planning to procure over 800 light weight armoured vehicles to be used in vulnerable places.

"We are planning to induct over 800 light armoured vehicles for protecting our troops from being attacked by terrorists during ambushes in areas such as Jammu and Kashmir and north-eastern states. These vehicles would be provided to units deployed in these areas," an army source told PTI.

"These vehicles would be used in counter-insurgency operations for patrolling, reconnaissance and convoy protection, logistics and search and rescue missions. Tenders for procuring these vehicles were released early this year," the source said.

Four companies have responded to the tender for armoured vehicles requirement of the army and have sent their products for trials.

The participants in the race for over Rs 250 crore tender include Mahindra Defence Systems, Tata Motors, Force Motors and MKU Systems.

The trials of these vehicles, the source said, are being conducted simultaneously at two locations.

"We are carrying out the trials at Doda in Jammu and Kashmir and at our Armoured School in Ahmednagar in Maharashtra," the source said.

"At Ahmednagar, we would be testing the performance of armour protection of the vehicles and in Doda, the vehicles would be tested for their mobility in mountainous terrain," the source said.

The army would test the vehicles on basis of their performance after driving for 5,000 km each at both the locations.

In 2005, the army had procured over 200 light armoured protection vehicles, which were found to be lacking in pulling power and later on, it was found that the engines were not as per the forces' specifications.

After last year's Mumbai attacks, the demand for armoured vehicles has increased in state police and paramilitary forces also.

"We have offered our C-8 LAV for the army's requirement and we would soon be offering it to other forces in the country," MKU Defence System Director Anurag Gupta said.

Army's Corps of Electrical and Mechanical Engineers had also produced an in-house armoured protected vehicle called 'Takshak', which was displayed during this year's Republic Day parade.

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