|PHOTOS / DRDO|
A nice dinky line-up of armoured buggies designed to snake into hotels, up stairs and into narrow alleys to take out holed up terrorists. That's the stated profile of a new family of three-ton armoured vehicles developed and prototyped in response to an Indian Home Ministry requirement following the Pakistan Army-sponsored terror attack in Mumbai in November 2008. Pictures of the three vehicles -- wheeled, tracked and low-noise electric -- appear in the latest issue of DRDO's newsletter. The Home Ministry had apparently called for an "agile, compact, highly manoeuvrable armoured envelope adequately protected to carry two to three persons in hostile environment especially in buildings, small gullies, constrained spaces of hide outs, etc."
According to the sparse description DRDO provides with the pictures, the vehicles are built to carry three fully equipped combatants, with all-round protection from small arms fire and hand grenades. The new vehicles are clearly for police anti-terror squads and paramilitary use, though these vehicles could conceivably be deployed with the Army as well in Kashmir and the North East. The tracked ATV (third in the picture), the DRDO says, has also been tested ballistically by the paramilitary Central Reserve Police Force in Rajasthan and emerged grenade-proof from a trial at the DRDO's own Terminal Ballistics Research Laboratory in Chandigarh.