SP's LandForces - - SP’S EXCLUSIVES -

Un­able to bring to fruition a six-year quest for a light spe­cial­ist ve­hi­cle, the Army plans to an­nounce afresh its in­ter­est in procur­ing an undis­closed num­ber of a com­mon light spe­cial­ist ve­hi­cle (LSV) for all arms in a 3,500-kg un­laden weight class cat­e­gory with a pay­load ca­pac­ity of 900-1,200 kg. The Army had orig­i­nally ex­pressed its in­ter­est in such ve­hi­cles back in Au­gust 2010. The Army has stip­u­lated in its in­for­ma­tion re­quest that the LSV needs to be ca­pa­ble of per­form­ing re­con­nais­sance and pa­trol roles for all arms, pro­vide space and cross mo­bil­ity in all ter­rains (in­clud­ing high altitude and deserts) to small par­ties/teams (ap­prox­i­mately six) and op­er­ately in­de­pen­dently in the bat­tle­field. The Army has so far been given an op­por­tu­nity to try out a se­ries of LSVs both In­dian and for­eign-made. In­dian con­tenders are likely to in­clude the Mahin­dra Axe and Tata LSV, while the for­eign of­fer­ings in­clude the De­fender se­ries from Land Rover. Tri­als will be con­ducted across ter­rain in three dif­fer­ent the­atres since the se­lected ve­hi­cles are likely to be pur­chased in large num­bers for use across arms. Vari­ants of the LSVs with weapons fit­ment ca­pa­bil­i­ties will also be in­cor­po­rated once the ten­der is fi­nalised this year. Sources say that the size of the or­der also means it would make em­i­nent sense to pur­chase a ve­hi­cle de­vel­oped and built in In­dia to the Army’s spec­i­fi­ca­tions. There is a pos­si­bil­ity that the re­quire­ment may be clubbed with ad­di­tional sim­i­lar re­quire­ments by the Home Min­istry.

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