The Indian Army has recently announced its plan to procure 198 Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicle (WH AFV) reconnaissance and support (R & Sp) for its wheeled reconnaissance and support battalions. The vehicles are meant for replacing the army’s ageing Soviet origin BRDM combat reconnaissance patrol vehicles. The requirement came out in a Request for Information (RFI) issued for procuring these equipment, the vendor should be capable to supply the entire quantity of vehicles within 4 yrs of the signing of the contract. The Request for Proposal (RFP) for the project is tentatively scheduled for issue by July 2020.
The Indian Army plans to use these Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles in the plain sectors of Punjab and Rajasthan. It wants that these AFVs should be able to operate in not only developed areas in this region, but in riverine terrain as well. The wheeled AFV should be provided with high mobility, adequate armour protection and armament configuration, suitable to destroy enemy tanks and undertake local protection. The vehicles should be able to move both on-road and cross country with speeds 80 Kmph and should have a reverse speed 20 Kmph on road. They should have a minimum cruising range of 500 Km on-road and 250 Km in cross country. The vehicles should also be amphibious with a floatation speed of 10 Kmph in static water and a capability to negotiate current speed up to 3 Knots. The Wh AFV vehicles are to be air-transportable by Indian Air Force’s strategic military transport aircraft such as Ilyushin Il-76 and C-17 Globemaster III.
The WHAFV vehicles should be armed with two twin anti-tank guided missile (ATGM) launchers with a provision of internal stowage of eight additional missiles. A man-portable version of the ATGM launcher should also be available for dismounted troops to fire the same missile. The main gun on the vehicle should be a 30mm cannon with a 7.62mm Coaxial Machine Gun. A Remote Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS) is preferred for the turret. An internal storage of 500 rounds of 30 mm ammunition and 2000 rounds of 7.62 mm ammunition should be available on the vehicle. An integral Active & Passive Protection System to effectively counter attacks from ATGM, Rocket Propelled Grenades (RPGs) and KE ammunition should be provided.