India unveils MRAP


Defence Land Systems India (DLSI) , a joint venture between Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and BAE Systems is displaying its new Mine Protected Vehicle India [MPVI] at DefExpo 2010, currently ongoing at Pragati Maidan near New Delhi.

DLSI says the MPVI has been developed specifically to meet the needs of the Indian armed and paramilitary forces, “and is based on world leading technology developed by BAE Systems.” The vehicle has a passing resemblance to the South African Casspir – in use with the Indian Army and paramilitary forces as well as the BAE Systems RG33.

The JV says the vehicle will be built in India and “will offer a high level of protection at a cost effective price.” The MPVI can seat 18 soldiers and is “capable of safely transporting a complete operational team of Army or Police forces involved in anti terrorist and anti Naxal operations. With enhanced protection technologies, the new vehicle provides the highest levels of crew protection available in India today. The high power to weight ratio and very high torque makes the vehicle suitable for Indian terrain, especially the mountainous region of Jammu and Kashmir and the rough topography of the Naxal dominated areas. (The Naxal are Maoist guerillas waging an insurgency in Bengal.)

Mr. Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra Group, while unveiling the vehicle said: “Designed to save the lives of our defence forces when they encounter mines and roadside bomb attacks, the Mine Protected Vehicle India will be our first new product offering from the joint venture company. Using technology proven in BAE Systems’ RG series of vehicles and Mahindra’s expert knowledge of Indian requirements and conditions, we are proud to provide the Indian defence sector with advanced yet affordable technology.”

Andrew Gallagher, President, BAE Systems India, said: “We are extremely proud to unveil the joint venture’s very first product which has been tailor made for the Indian armed forces. The MPVI is based on BAE Systems’ three decades of protection experience that resulted in the highly successful RG 31 which has a proven track record and is currently in service with US, Canadian, UAE and a number of other forces including the United Nations.”

The MPVI will be manufactured at the Defence Land System, India plant at Prithla near Faridabad.

India is the latest country to acquire the knowledge developed by the former Defence Research Unit of the SA Council for Science and Industrial Research in the early 1970s. Other countries that now have the once unique SA technology include the US, Australia, Britain, France, Germany, Namibia, Russia and Serbia.