Indian Army to buy 800 LAMV light armoured multipurpose vehicles

According to The Tribune, the Indian Army is planning to procure around 800 light armoured multipurpose vehicles (LAMVs) for use in high-altitude areas, plains and deserts. These will be deployed by the mechanised and armoured units of the Army. The RFI mentions two different LAMV versions: one with basic features and the other with more complex ones, each with its own set of technical requirements.
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WHaP demonstrated at DefExpo 2018 near Chennai. However tested at a high altitude and partially ''multipurpose'' if adapted, the vehicle cannot be qualified as ''light'' (Picture source: Army Recognition)

A request for information (RFI), the first stage of the tendering process, was issued on Friday, July 1, to decide the procurement category and identify probable Indian vendors capable of undertaking the said project and delivering the said vehicles within 36 months from date of award of contract, The Tribune reports. The Army wants 300 such vehicles procured every year in sync with “Make in India” and “Atmanirbhar Bharat” initiatives.

The deployment is planned in plain and desert terrains and in the high altitude of snow-covered areas of eastern Ladakh and north Sikkim. So, these vehicles will also need to have the ability to provide early warning and intelligence of hostile elements besides being adaptable to drones. The advanced version should feature an integrated targeting and surveillance system, which might comprise a continuous unmanned tied surveillance system, a surveillance drone, and a loitering munition to hit targets.

Hence, will the sought vehicle (in two variants) be the already existing 8x8 WhAP? As reported by Army Recognition on 7 July 2020, this vehicle has already been tested by DRDO at high altitudes. But it is not a ‘’light’’ vehicle. So?

The WhAP with its BMP-2 turret offers a new generation of combat vehicle offering a high level of protection, mobility based on an 8x8 chassis and firepower with the turret armed with a stabilized 30 mm cannon 2A42 and a 7.62 mm PKT coaxial machine gun mounted to the left of the main armament with 2,000 rounds. Mounted on the turret roof between the gunner's and commander's hatches is a launcher for an AT-4 Spigot or AT-5 Spandrel ATGM (Anti-Tank Guided Missile) which has a maximum range of 4,000m.

The WhAP has a weight of around 25 tons and is powered by a 600-hp diesel engine. It can reach a maximum road speed of 100 km/h. For amphibious operations, the WhAP is propelled in the water at a maximum speed of 10 km/h thanks to two hydrojets.