Indian Army Tata Kestrel 8x8 Wheeled Armoured Personnel Carrier

WolfPack86

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Stryker for India ? Yes, No or Maybe ?
Recent media reports have ignited discussions about the Indian Army’s potential interest in acquiring the M1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle. However, it is important to delve into the deeper nuances of the Indian defense sector to understand the significance of such reports. In this article, we will explore the Indian Army’s investment in indigenous defense capabilities, particularly focusing on the highly acclaimed Tata Kestrel, developed by Tata Advanced Systems in collaboration with the Defense Research and Development Organization (DRDO).

The Need for Accountability in Defense Reporting:
To gain insights into the current state of affairs in Indian defense, Alpha Defence reached out to an Indian Army officer. This officer highlighted the necessity of accountability in defense reporting, emphasizing that the proliferation of websites and YouTube channels has led to misinformation and misinterpretation of defense-related matters. Some of these inaccuracies stem from a lack of understanding, while others are driven by hidden agendas. Therefore, it is crucial to scrutinize reports and rely on trusted sources when assessing defense developments.

Investing in Indigenous Capabilities: Tata Kestrel:
Amidst the buzz surrounding potential foreign acquisitions, the Indian Army has placed significant emphasis on nurturing indigenous defense capabilities. One prime example of this investment is the Tata Kestrel, a versatile infantry carrier vehicle designed by DRDO and manufactured by Tata Advanced Systems.

Trials and Performance:
The Tata Kestrel has already undergone extensive trials in various terrains and climatic conditions, successfully showcasing its adaptability and reliability. The Indian Army has expressed its satisfaction with the vehicle’s performance, further reinforcing its commitment to indigenous defense production. These trials have paved the way for the induction of the first batch of Wheeled Armored Platform (WhAP) vehicles into the Indian Army on April 12, 2022. However, for now it is an Infantry Protected Mobility Vehicle which is inducted in limited number but around 200 units of Armoured Fighting vehicle configuration will be inducted in future.

Expansion to Central Police Forces:
Recognizing the vehicle’s potential beyond the Indian Army, other central police forces are considering the induction of the Tata Kestrel into their services. The vehicle’s versatility, robustness, and enhanced mobility make it a suitable choice for various security applications.

Overall, the recent media reports highlighting the Indian Army’s potential interest in the M1126 Stryker Infantry Carrier Vehicle should be viewed within the larger context of India’s commitment to bolstering its indigenous defense capabilities. The Tata Kestrel, a homegrown success story, has proven its worth through rigorous trials and is set to become a cornerstone of the Indian Army’s modernization efforts. As India looks to enhance its security apparatus, the Tata Kestrel’s potential integration with central police forces further solidifies its position as a reliable and versatile defense asset. By prioritizing indigenous development, India takes strides toward self-reliance and showcases its determination to become a major player in the global defense industry.
 

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TATA Kestrel (WhAP): The Bird of Steel
A recent version of the TATA Kestrel armed with the turret of a BMP-2.


  • Description:
    • The TATA Kestrel (meaning Bird), commonly referred to the Wheeled Armoured Platform (WhAP) is an 8x8 armored vehicle developed by TATA, DRDO, and Supacat. Development of the TATA Kestrel began in the early 2010’s by TATA Advanced Systems Limited to develop a multi-role wheeled platform for the Indian Army with the first vehicle being unveiled at the 2014 DefExpo in New Delhi, India. This platform was designed to incorporate a 30mm cannon, a 105mm cannon, a mortar system, a light RWS to function as an APC, an IFV, and more. Not only that but it emphasizes India’s “Make in India” initiative. One prototype was released of the Kestrel utilizing a BMP-2 turret mounted centrally on the roof of the vehicle to allow for the engine compartment to be in the front next to the driver. The BMP-2 turret was utilized due to the large stock of BMP-1 and BMP-2 IFV’s in the Indian Army’s inventory. The turret features a 2A42 30mm autocannon that can fire a wide variety of munitions such as APDS-T, HEF-I and more. On the top of the turret is a 9P56M launcher capable of firing 9M113M Konkurs-M anti-tank guided missiles or ATGM’s. The vehicle is also equipped with a 7.62mm coaxial machine gun and multiple firing ports. For optics, the Gunner and Commander utilize the original BPK-1-42 Passive IR Periscope and TKN-3B Passive IR Periscope but could receive the same optics as the BMP-2 Sarath, which features thermal imagers for the Gunner and Commander. The Driver has access to multiple day periscopes as well as a front and rear camera. For mobility, the Kestrel features a 600hp Cummins ISX 600 Turbocharged Diesel Engine coupled to an automatic transmission that allows for speeds of up to 110km/r. The vehicle is also equipped with a splash plate, bilge pumps, and dual propulsors to allow for amphibious operations. The vehicle is mounted on 8 wheels, utilizing a double-wishbone/hydropneumatic suspension that provides excellent cross country/off-road capabilities. For armor protection, the vehicle is equipped with modular armor that can change its amor protection from STANAG 4569 Level 1 to Level 4. The bottom of the hull was designed in a V-shape to allow for detonating IED’s and mines away from the vehicle, increasing crew survivability. The bottom of the hull is rated STANAG 4569 Level 3. This vehicle would see a slight transition from its prototype phase to its production variant, with changes to the armor structure, headlights, and more. This version was adopted by the Indian army in 2017. An updated version of the Kestrel was revealed in 2020 at the DefExpo in Lucknow, India featuring several upgrades over the original with a slightly redesigned hull that changes the front end of the vehicle including a new splash plate, as well as a multiple new sensors and a laser warning receiver to increase crew awareness. The turret was replaced with a Kongsberg MCT-30R featuring a Mk44 30mm autocannon, a 7.62mm machine gun mounted above the barrel, a Javelin launching system on the side of the turret and a Protector M151 equipped with a Javelin launcher for fierce anti-tank capabilities. The MCT-30R Remote Weapon Station is also equipped with the latest 3rd-generation thermal imagers for both the Gunner and Commander, offering advanced capabilities and longer range engagements. This version remains a prototype, showcasing the modularity of the Kestral-platform. The Kestrel, due to its capabilities, is being offered by TATA Motors for international export as well as is expected to fully replace the BMP-1 and BMP-2 in the Indian Army.
  • Role : Infantry Fighting Vehicle
  • Origin:
    • India
  • Armament:
    • Turret: BMP-2 Turret
      • Primary: 2A42 30mm Autocannon
        • Cartridge: 30x165
          • Ammunition:
            • Possibly FSAPDS-T, status unknown.
            • 3UBR8 APDS-T (BP)
            • 3UBR6 AP-T (BT)
            • 3UOR6 HEF-I (OFZ)
            • 3UOF8 F-T (OT)
        • Feed System:
          • Dual-belt Fed
      • Coaxial: PKT-7.62mm Machine Gun
      • Roof-Mounted:
        • 9P56M Launcher:
          • Optics:
            • 9Sh119M1 Daylight Sight
          • Guidance: Wire-guided/SALCOS
          • Elevation: -10/+20 degrees
          • Rate of Fire (RoF): 3 Missiles/Min
          • Missile(s):
            • 9M113M Konkurs-M
              • Warhead: Tandem HEAT
              • Penetration: 750-800mm behind ERA
              • Diameter: 135mm
              • Weight: 14.5kg (Missile only)
              • Propulsion: Single-Stage Solid Propellant Rocket Motor (and Booster)
              • Range: 75-4,000m (3,500m Passively)
              • Speed:
                • Average: 208m/s
                • Max: 300m/s
      • 6x 81mm Smoke Grenade Launchers
      • Optics:
        • Gunner: BPK-1-42 Passive IR Periscope
        • Commander: TKN-3B Passive IR Periscope
    • Turret: Kongsberg MCT-30 Remote Turret
      • Primary: 30mm Mk. 44 Bushmaster II Automatic Cannon
        • Ammunition:
          • Mk 258 APFSDS-T
          • Mk 238 HEI-T/SD
          • Mk 264 MPLD-T
          • Mk 310 HEAB-T (Airburst)
      • Coaxial: 7.62mm Machine Gun
      • Roof-Mounted: 12.7mm M151 Protector Remote Weapon Station
      • Optional:
        • Anti-tank Guided Missile Launcher:
          • FGM-184 Javelin Missile
            • Characteristics:
              • Mass: 15.9kg (Missile/Tube)
              • Length:
                • Missile: 1.1m
                • Launch Tube: 1.2m
              • Diameter:
                • Missile: 127mm
                • Launch Tube: 142mm
              • Target Acquisition: Fire and Forget
              • Guidance: Infrared Homing
              • Engine: Solid-fuel Rocket
              • Warhead:
                • Type: Tandem-charge HEAT
                • Weight: 8.4kg
                • Penetration:
                  • 750mm through RHA
                  • 600mm through RHA w/ ERA
              • Detonation Mechanism: Impact
              • Effective Range: 4,750m (from vehicles)
              • Flight Patterns: Top Attack & Direct-Fire
              • Max Height: 150m Top Attack/60m Direct-Fire
      • Optics:
        • Gunner: Gunner’s Thermal Imager (3rd-generation Thermal Imager)
        • Commander: Commander’s Panoramic Thermal Imager (3rd-generation Thermal Imager)
  • Maneuverability:
    • Engine: 600hp - Cummins ISX 600 Turbocharged Diesel Engine
    • Transmission: Automatic Transmission (Gear ratio has not been released.)
    • Chassis: 8x8
      • Double-wishbone Suspension
    • Max Speed: 110km/h (10km/h on water)
  • Dimensions:
    • Length: 7.80m
    • Width: 2.95m
    • Height: 2.28m
    • Weight: 25-26t
  • Crew(3x):
    • Commander
    • Gunner
    • Driver
    • 9x Additional Personnel
  • Features:
    • Laser Warning Receiver
    • Laser Rangefinder
    • Turret:
      • Modified BMP-2 Turret
      • Kongsberg Protector MCT-30R
    • Amphibious
      • Splash Plate
      • 2x Propulsors
    • Armor:
      • STANAG 4569 Level 1-4 for Ballistic Protection with addon armor.
      • STANAG 4569 Level 3 for Mine Protection.
    • General NVD:
      • Driver: Thermal Camera
  • In-game:
    • A wildcard for any future Indian Ground Forces tree, the Kestral comes equipped with a turret from the BMP-2 which we’re all to familiar with and a MCT-30R with top-attack engaging Javelin missiles. These turrets are mounted on a fast wheeled platform, playing a similar role to vehicles such as the Italian VBC. One thing to note is with the BMP-2 turret, the depression will be very limited due to the turret being mounted centrally.
    • Estimated Battle Rating: 9.7 for MCT-30R turret, 8.7 for BMP-2 turret.
    • https://forum.warthunder.com/t/tata-kestrel-whap-the-bird-of-steel/9122
 

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Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles (WhAFVs) showcased for 1st Time(with Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs)
On June 06, 2022, DAC has accorded Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for Capital Acquisition Proposals of the Armed Forces amounting to Rs 76,390 crore under ‘Buy (Indian)’, ‘Buy & Make (Indian)’ and ‘Buy (Indian-IDDM)’ categories. The list of procurement is huge and one of the items in the list was Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles (WhAFVs) with Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGMs). Its most likely going to be Tata WhaP but with more advance turret. WhAP is going to be integrated with ATGMs. Besides ATGMs the anti-tank variant of WhaP is also expected to have added armour protection using external add-on armours. It will also feature Remote control weapon stations with thermal sights.

During the dress rehearsal of Republic Day parade, on 23rd January, the DRDO has showcased its Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles with Anti-tank guided missile for the first time.

In April, the army has also inducted the Infantry Protected Mobility Vehicle with a 7.62mm MMG RCWS. The IPMVs have been developed and manufactured at the TASL’s Pune facility. They have been built on the strategic 8×8 Wheeled Armoured Platform (WhAP).

More versions of WhAP
During Defense Expo 2022, three version of Tata WhAP was shown which are ICV or Infantry combat vehicle, IPMV(Infantry Protected Mobility Vehicle) and WhAP. Tata WhAP seems to be base platform or the plain vanilla version of the vehicle.

WhAP features

Tata WhAP features automatic transmission with 600 hp engine. It has ballistic protection of up STANAG level-IV. It has blast protection of STANG Level-III. WhAP also has NBC suit, designed to provide protection against direct contact with and contamination by radioactive, biological or chemical substances, and provide protection from contamination with radioactive materials and all types of radiation.

It can be variety of turret options depending upon the operational role. It can be integrated with a 30mm/40mm RCWS with optical sensors having 360 degrees of surveillance.

We have also seen WhaP with 105mm gun which can act like a light tank. The turret can have either a 105 mm or 120 mm main gun along with 14.5mm or 12.7mm or 7.62mm co-axial machine gun. It also has smoke grenade launcher and option of ATGM as preferred by user.


 

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Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles (WhAFVs) showcased for 1st Time with Anti-Tank Guided Missiles
 

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TATA Infantry Protected Mobility Vehicle Inducted Into Indian Army | in English
 

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INDIA KEEN ON JOINT PRODUCTION OF STRYKER ARMOURED VEHICLES WITH US
Defence secretary Giridhar Aramane said the discussions on the armoured vehicles were taking place under the roadmap concluded in June


NEW DELHI: India is interested in a US offer for joint production of Stryker armoured vehicles to meet the needs of the army, defence secretary Giridhar Aramane said on Friday, adding that the proposed deals for the joint production of GE Aerospace’s F414 engines in the country and the acquisition of next-generation armed drones from the US are on track.

“An initial offer on the (Stryker) infantry combat vehicles has come from the US. We have expressed our interest in discussing it further to take the co-production part ahead,” he said.

His comments came during a joint media briefing with foreign secretary foreign secretary Vinay Kwatra on the 2+2 dialogue co-chaired by defence minister Rajnath Singh and external affairs minister S Jaishankar and their American counterparts Lloyd Austin and Antony Blinken.

Aramane said the discussions on the armoured vehicles were taking place under the roadmap for future defence industrial cooperation concluded by the two countries in June. The roadmap seeks to fast-track technology cooperation and co-production in critical areas such as air combat and land mobility systems; intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance; munitions, and the undersea domain.

“Our industrial and military teams will work with their US counterparts and come up with a concrete plan in this regard (joint production of armoured vehicles),” he said.

The Stryker vehicles are manufactured by the US firm General Dynamics Land Systems. India’s mechanised infantry is on the threshold of a critical transformation with the army setting a brisk pace to equip its vital combat arm with a range of new capabilities.

Many new initiatives were struck during PM Narendra Modi’s visit to the US in June, Aramane said.

“These initiatives have to be taken to their logical conclusion. The 2+2 dialogue is a continuation of important steps taken during the PM’s visit,” he said.

It was during that visit that GE Aerospace and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) signed a memorandum of understanding in Washington to produce 99 F414 engines for India’s light combat aircraft (LCA) Mk-2 programme. The deal will involve 80% transfer of technology and is estimated to be worth around $1 billion.

“We are finalising the commercial arrangement, and the necessary legal requirements are being put in place. It (the engine deal) is on track,” he said. The joint production of F414 engines in India will help the country overcome a striking technology gap, lay the foundation for indigenous development of bigger jet engines and possibly open doors to exports; and the deal could be hammered out within a year, HAL chief CB Ananthakrishnan said in an interview to HT last month.

The proposed deal for 31 MQ-9B remotely piloted aircraft systems to boost the Indian military’s strength found a mention in the June 22 joint statement issued by the US and India during Modi’s first state visit to the US.

India has sent a letter of request (LOR) to the US government and the latter has to respond, Aramane said.

“The US company has to take clearance from the government and come back to us.” LOR mentions the tri-services requirements, details of equipment and terms of the procurement. The US will respond with a letter of acceptance after which India will begin negotiations, duly factoring in the price and terms offered by Washington to other countries.

To be assembled in India, the versatile platform will have the capability to strike targets with its on-board weapons, it will be used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR); and its other roles include electronic warfare, defensive counter air and airborne early warning.

Fifteen drones will be for the navy, and eight each for the army and the Indian Air Force. General Atomics has offered the drones to India for $3.07 billion. This, however, is subject to negotiations.

During a bilateral meeting between Singh and Austin, the two ministers discussed a wide range of defence and strategic issues, with a particular focus on enhancing defence industrial cooperation and getting the defence industries from both sides together to co-develop and co-produce weapons and systems, the defence ministry said in a statement.

Singh also symbolically handed over to Austin some items recovered in Assam as part of the US Defence POW/MIA Accounting Agency mission to provide the fullest possible accounting for missing personnel to their families and the nation. The items included parts of a parachute, uniforms and an airplane of the US forces from the World War II-era, the statement added.
 

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BIG boost for defence sector: India-US to co-produce Stryker armoured vehicles | Indo-China LAC row
 

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Armoured fighting vehicle | us and india 2+2 meeting press conference | Tata | Mahindra | DRDO | USA
 

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DRDO Tata Whap : The Infantry Protected Mobility Vehicles (IPMVs) inducted into Indian Army
 

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India considering co-production of the "Stryker" Armoured fighting vehicle with the USA
 

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