For Lo­gis­tics and Tac­ti­cal Re­quire­ments of Armed Forces

Lo­gis­tics is not only about the sup­ply of ma­teriel to an army in times of war. It also in­cludes the abil­ity of the na­tional in­fras­truc­ture and man­u­fac­tur­ing base to equip, sup­port and sup­ply the armed forces, the na­tional trans­porta­tion sys­tem to move the


THE IM­POR­TANCE OF LO­GIS­TICS in the field can be gauged from Lord Wavell’s state­ment: “Ul­ti­mately real knowl­edge of sup­ply and move­ment fac­tors must be the ba­sis of ev­ery leader’s plan; only then can he know how and when to take risks with these fac­tors, and bat­tles and wars are won by tak­ing risks.”

The sup­ply and move­ment of ra­tion, fuel, am­mu­ni­tion, cloth­ing, stores and other war­like equip­ment from peace time de­pots for­ward to op­er­a­tional sec­tors so as to pro­vide the field for­ma­tions their re­quire­ments on time, har­monised with their op­er­a­tional plans, is the job of a lo­gis­ti­cian. For mo­bile and swift of­fen­sive oper­a­tions, the lo­gis­ti­cian has to be lit­er­ally a ma­gi­cian to en­sure that all re­quire­ments are within rea­son­able turn around dis­tance. This will en­sure that com­man­ders at var­i­ous lev­els do not have to look back, over their shoul­ders, and all re­quire­ments are pushed for­ward. This re­quires an ech­e­loned sys­tem of main­te­nance from rear ar­eas to for­ward ar­eas and vice versa to en­sure smooth move­ment of lo­gis­tic con­voys.

It is lo­gis­tics that will de­ter­mine the forces that can be de­liv­ered to the the­atre of oper­a­tions, what forces can be sup­ported once there and what will then be the tempo of oper­a­tions. Lo­gis­tics is not only about the sup­ply of ma­teriel to an army in times of war. It also in­cludes the abil­ity of the na­tional in­fras­truc­ture and man­u­fac­tur­ing base to equip, sup­port and sup­ply the armed forces, the na­tional trans­porta­tion sys­tem to move the forces to be de­ployed and its abil­ity to re­sup­ply that force once they are de­ployed.

Modes of Trans­porta­tion

With­out well-de­vel­oped trans­porta­tion sys­tems, lo­gis­tics can­not bring its ad­van­tages into full play. Be­sides, in busi­ness, a good trans­port sys­tem in lo­gis­tics ac­tiv­i­ties can pro­vide bet­ter lo­gis­tics ef­fi­ciency, re­duce the op­er­a­tion cost, and pro­mote ser­vice qual­ity. The im­prove­ment of trans­porta­tion sys­tems in the armed forces needs an es­ti­mate of the ter­rain over which the goods have to move and ac­cord­ingly the trans­porta­tion sys­tem has to be de­signed. For ex­am­ple, if the troops, ra­tions, fuel, medicines, am­mu­ni­tion, etc have to be moved over ter­rain in which there are no roads ex­ist­ing then all the above items have to be moved in high mo­bil­ity wheeled or tracked ve­hi­cles or moved by air­craft. If there are no airstrips where the items are re­quired to be trans­ported, then they have to be air dropped with para­chutes.

In the hin­ter­land of a coun­try, we may em­ploy a var­ied sys­tem of trans­porta­tion from de­pots or man­u­fac­tur­ing units to field for­ma­tions, such as rail trans­port, heavy lift air­craft, in­land water trans­port and road trans­port in the form heavy load car­ry­ing ve­hi­cles, etc. How­ever, as we come close to the bor­der ar­eas and go be­yond the borders, the trans­porta­tion mode changes to trucks which are ca­pa­ble of car­ry­ing loads across coun­try on in­dif­fer­ent tracks, and high mo­bil­ity wheeled ve­hi­cles which can keep up with ar­moured and mech­a­nised forma- tions mov­ing off the tracks and roads, and heavy- and medium-lift heli­copters.

Trucks which carry lo­gis­tics loads in the In­dian Army are mostly in­dige­nous ve­hi­cles. The main sup­pli­ers of heav­ier trucks to the Army cur­rently are Ashok Ley­land, Tata and Ve­hi­cle Fac­tory Ja­balpur.

Ashok Ley­land

Ashok Ley­land is a pi­o­neer in the de­sign, de­vel­op­ment and man­u­fac­ture of de­fence ve­hi­cles and of­fer end-to-end so­lu­tions to meet the lo­gis­tics and tac­ti­cal re­quire­ments of the armed forces. While the Stal­lion is their flag­ship plat­form, they have de­vel­oped two more plat­forms: the Colt and the Su­per Stal­lion. Go­ing for­ward, they are ex­pand­ing their Stal­lion range of lo­gis­tics trans­port so­lu­tions while tac­ti­cal or ar­moured ve­hi­cles will be of­fered on all three plat­forms on the back of strate­gic part­ner­ships with KMW, Ger­many; Pan­hard, France, and Para­mount, South Africa.

Stal­lion 6x6

The Stal­lion 6x6 is sig­nif­i­cantly up­graded in form and func­tion com­pared to its ear­lier ver­sion. It has a more pow­er­ful 165 kW com­mon rail diesel en­gine that is ca­pa­ble of 800 nm of torque to op­er­ate in de­mand­ing moun­tain­ous ter­rain. Ease of use is ad­dressed by au­to­matic trans­mis­sion that is matched to the new en­gine. The Stal­lion 6x6 is also equipped with a mod­ern, face-lifted cabin that is er­gonomic, air-con­di­tioned with bucket seats and fit­ted with a driver-friendly in­for­ma­tion dis­play clus­ter panel. The Stal­lion 6x6 can be used as troop car­ri­ers, water and fuel bowsers, re­cov­ery ve­hi­cle, and as the base ve­hi­cle to mount com­mu­ni­ca­tion equip­ment and com­mand con­trol posts.

Su­per Stal­lion HMV 8x8

The Su­per Stal­lion HMV 8x8 is the new flag­ship of Ashok Ley­land’s range of lo­gis­tics ve­hi­cles. It has been spe­cially con­fig­ured to meet the Army’s emerg­ing re­quire­ment for ve­hi­cles with higher mo­bil­ity and greater power to op­er­ate in chal­leng­ing desert ter­rains. It is pro­pelled by a state-of-the-art pow- er­ful 360 hp (265 kW) Nep­tune en­gine, that can crank up a torque of 1,400 nm. Hub re­duc­tion axles en­sure bet­ter ground clear­ance and grip for its eight wheels in sand and the cen­tral tyre in­fla­tion sys­tem (CITS) en­ables in­flat­ing or de­flat­ing tyres even when on the move. Driver com­fort has been ad­dressed through air-con­di­tion­ing, bucket seats in the er­gonomic cab and par­a­bolic sus­pen­sion in front for a bet­ter ride. The Su­per Stal­lion plat­form prom­ises the same ver­sa­til­ity of the Stal­lion plat­form and can be of­fered for a va­ri­ety of ap­pli­ca­tions like field ar­tillery tractor and mounted gun with dif­fer­ent trans­mis­sion and driv­e­line con­fig­u­ra­tions.

COLT Light Tac­ti­cal Ve­hi­cle (4x4)

The Colt light tac­ti­cal ve­hi­cle (LTV), jointly de­vel­oped by Ashok Ley­land De­fence and Pan­hard Gen­eral De­fense, has ex­cel­lent mo­bil­ity ow­ing to a power to weight ra­tio of over 34 hp per tonne. It is equipped with a high per­for­mance chas­sis, a unique sus­pen­sion sys­tem and an in­no­va­tive patented ar­moured hull. Es­sen­tially de­signed to carry out pro­tected tac­ti­cal li­ai­son mis­sions, the LTV can fill a large ar­ray of roles such as es­cort, pa­trol and com­mand ve­hi­cles. The prod­uct is bat­tle-proven and over 2,000 are de­ployed across 15 coun­tries.

Prod­uct Port­fo­lio

Ashok Ley­land De­fence is also en­gaged in de­vel­op­ing a range of ar­moured ve­hi­cles with mil­i­tary pay­loads rang­ing from 1.5 to 16 tonnes, on the Colt, Stal­lion and Su­per Stal­lion plat­forms that will ad­dress re­quire­ments for light spe­cial­ist ve­hi­cles (LSV), light bul­let proof ve­hi­cle (LBPV), light ar­tillery ma­chines (LAM), mine pro­tected ve­hi­cles (MPV), field ar­tillery trac­tors, multi-bar­rel rocket launch­ers (MBRLs) and other spe­cial ap­pli­ca­tions.

Tata Mo­tors

Tata Mo­tors has been a strate­gic part­ner of the In­dian armed forces from as early as 1958. Since then, their mo­bil­ity-so­lu­tions port­fo­lio has grown to in­clude all classes from light to heavy ve­hi­cles across the en­tire de­fence, para­mil­i­tary and po­lice mo­bil­ity spec­trum. To­day, Tata Mo­tors part­ners in en­hanc­ing de­fence, para­mil­i­tary and po­lice mo­bil­ity in the South Asian As­so­ci­a­tion for Re­gional Co­op­er­a­tion (SAARC) and As­so­ci­a­tion of South East Asian Na­tions (ASEAN) re­gions and Africa. Tata Mo­tors of­fers a wide range of ve­hi­cles, in the light, medium and heavy cat­e­gory. These in­clude: lo­gis­tics ve­hi­cles; tac­ti­cal ve­hi­cles; ar­moured ve­hi­cles; buses; chas­sis; and spe­cial­ist ve­hi­cles. These mod­els are avail­able with mul­ti­ple ap­pli­ca­tions as well.

Tata Mo­tors ve­hi­cles are reg­is­tered with the Direc­torate Gen­eral of Sup­plies and Dis­pos­als (DGS&D) rate con­tract, of­fer­ing the cus­tomer a wide choice of ap­pli­ca­tions like troop car­ri­ers, water tankers, trucks and tip­pers, am­bu­lances, chas­sis (light and heavy), CNG, buses, pas­sen­ger cars, util­ity ve­hi­cles.

Train­ing ses­sions, work­shops and ser­vice camps are or­gan­ised on a reg­u­lar ba­sis to keep abreast of lat­est tech­nolo­gies, share tech­ni­cal knowl­edge and mas­ter main­te­nance method­olo­gies.

Ve­hi­cle Fac­tory Ja­balpur

Ve­hi­cle Fac­tory Ja­balpur, which comes un­der the Ord­nance Fac­tory Board of the Min­istry of De­fence, was es­tab­lished in 1969. It is a ded­i­cated man­u­fac­tur­ing unit to meet the ‘trans­port needs’ of the armed forces. Cur­rent prod­uct range in­cludes 2.5 tonne LPTA-713, 2 KL water bowser and 5/7.5 tonne Stal­lion Mk-III ve­hi­cles, de­signed to op­er­ate in ex­treme cli­mate and ter­rain con­di­tions from snow-bound moun­tains to sand dunes. Man­u­fac­tur­ing fa­cil­i­ties in­clude state-of-the-art com­puter nu­mer­i­cal ma­chines (CNC) ma­chines and sta­tis­ti­cal para­met­ric map­ping (SPMs) for man­u­fac­tur­ing trans­mis­sion com­po­nents, fab­ri­cated items, chas­sis frame and body, etc in ad­di­tion to ve­hi­cle assem­bly lines. The main prod­ucts of the Ve­hi­cle Fac­tory Ja­balpur pro­vided to the Army are: 5/7.5-tonne Stal­lion Mk-III BS-II 2.5-tonne LPTA 713/32 TC BS-II Water bowser 2 KL on LPTA Water bowser 5 KL on Stal­lion Kitchen con­tainer on Stal­lion Mine pro­tected ve­hi­cles Bul­let-proof­ing of ve­hi­cles

In­dian Army’s Re­quire­ments

The es­ti­mated re­quire­ment for light and heavy ve­hi­cles by the In­dian Army, as re­ported by the me­dia, is huge. The Army has pro­jected a need for 4,000 light ar­moured ve­hi­cles, 1,500 light bul­let-proof ve­hi­cles, 4,500 light spe­cial­ist ve­hi­cles and thou­sands of trucks for car­ry­ing lo­gis­tic re­quire­ments for field for­ma­tions. This list does not even take into ac­count the num­ber of spe­cial­ist light, medium and heavy ve­hi­cles that would be needed for re­pair and re­cov­ery of ve­hi­cles in the field and spe­cial­ist ve­hi­cles like ar­tillery trac­tors to be used to tow the guns and how­itzers as and when they are in­ducted. It also does not in­clude the tank trans­porters to trans­port T-72, T-90 and Ar­jun tanks when they move from one lo­ca­tion to an­other in peace­time or dur­ing war in own ter­ri­tory.

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