Army revives interest in Light Specialist Vehicle

Issue: 1 / 2015 By SP's Special Correspondent February 2, 2015

Unable to bring to fruition a 6 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 900-1200 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 battle field. 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.