Indian Air force issued a request for proposal to buy some fifty to sixty armored all terrain capable, Air transportable armored assault vehicles to the elite garud commando’s. The RFI endorse to the global vendors, since Indian manufactures are failed to provide good vehicle which can be para dropped from any IAF air lifter. The Garud’s currently using modified Maruti gypsy which is not a good platform to use in close combat situations. Since it’s don’t have armor and para drop capabilities.
The Garud’s wants a armored vehicle just like the NSG gets the Renault Sherpa for their assault needs. Such vehicles are comes with light armored protection. which provide cover from small arms fire and RPG rounds, also capable to withstand against small IED’s and mines too. Air force asks the 4×4 wheel must carry minimum six fully armed infantry soldiers and his support systems.
The Vehicles suites for tactical missions like scout, patrol, VIP Escort duties and command liaison duties. NSG also using the Renault Sherpa to perform all the above missionss. However Air forces also wants the Vehicles must be carried into IAF’s Tactical and Strategic air lifters. Air force operates variety of air lifters ranging from small An 32 to larger C 17.
However Sherpa is not a para drop capable platform, since IAF quest for such capabilities. However 4×4 wheels like Turkey’s Otokar Cobra, French VBL, and Swiss Eagle’s are good platform who meets the IAF’s requirements. Those system also can be retrofitted with small arms and grenade launchers. and much needed Towing capabilities.
The Air force wants, the armored Vehicle can capable to carry small arms in all available sides, such as rear, front and top. Also able to carry more ammunition’s or auxiliary fuel tanks inside the vehicle. Additional wheel for emergency replacement, more tool kits for repairing the vehicle in the field also requested. The actual power system and battery capacity for lighting systems if needed for rescue or search operations.
The US recently announced the winner of their light combat all terrain vehicle, which is same what Garud’s looking. The Vehcile can met all parameters of what Garud’s asking. The Oshkosh have top gun mount which can be modified into anti tank missile launchers or 40mm grenade launcher. The JLTV also have side mounted weapon stations.
The Garud’s wants those 4×4 wheels can also being carried under the Mi 17 and the upcoming
CH 47 F. However armored Vehicles like VBL and Cobra don’t have enough room to carry six infantry soldiers, However they can be para dropped and have amphibious capabilities and improved V shaped Hull desgin . Meanwhile Eagle and Sherpa can carry required number of soldiers and can’t be air dropped. While the American JLTV is the only platform can meet both parameters.