Indian Army to get its own Humvee - Broadsword by Ajai Shukla - Strategy. Economics. Defence.

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Tuesday 23 March 2021

Indian Army to get its own Humvee

The Mahindra light specialist vehicle in UN colours. The firm will supply 1,300 of these vehicles for Rs 1,056 crore


By Ajai Shukla


India’s military is set to get its own version of the iconic US Army Humvee, the light tactical vehicle that came to symbolise battlefield mobility.


“Ministry of Defence (MoD) signed a contract with Mahindra Defence Systems Ltd (MDSL) for supply of 1,300 Light Specialist Vehicles (LSV) to the Indian Army, at a cost of Rs 1,056 crore, in New Delhi on March 22, 2021. The induction of vehicles is planned to be completed in four years,” stated an MoD press release on Monday.


“The LSV is a modern fighting vehicle and will be authorised to various fighting units for carriage of medium machine guns (MMGs), automatic grenade launchers (AGLs) as well as anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs),” said the MoD. 


The LSV is indigenously designed and developed by MDSL. It is an extremely agile combat vehicle with all round protection against small arms fire. It is intended to assist small independent detachments in the operational area.


MDSL won the contest in which the MoD invited competitive bids from Indian companies in an open tender. The vehicles that were fielded, including the LSV, were put through gruelling trials under different operating conditions, including high altitude, deserts, and plains. 


“LSV is the only vehicle which passed all the field, ballistics, and technical trials,” stated MDSL in a press release on Tuesday.


MDS has indigenously designed and developed the LSV with a modular design that they say “makes it future proof.”


“Also, as the OEM (original equipment manufacturer) of the vehicle, MDS has the necessary IP (intellectual property) and capabilities in all aspects from development of the LSV variants to complete life cycle support,” says MDS.


Mr SP Shukla, Chairman, Mahindra Defence Systems Limited, said, “This contract truly signifies success of the Atmanirbhar Bharat (self-reliant India) initiative. It is the first major contract for the advanced armoured tactical vehicles that are designed and developed by the private sector in India with intellectual property rights within the country. This contract paves the way for large scale adoption of Indian platforms with indigenous capabilities.”


One version of the MDS LSV is already in service with Indian Battalion deployed in UN Peacekeeping mission in Africa. Other friendly foreign countries have also sought details of this vehicle for their operations indicating the export potential of this armoured vehicle developed and made in India.

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