Indian police first to receive Tata Kestrel WhAP 8x8 armoured vehicles


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Oct 20, 2015
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According to The Defence Aviation Post, Tata has begun delivering the first batch of WhAP (Kestrel) 8x8 armored vehicles to the Central Reserve Police Force, which is most likely the ITBP. Tata and DRDO jointly built WhAP (Wheeled Armored Amphibious Platform) Kestrel armoured vehicle roll out from TATA Pimpri, Pune Plant.

Tata’s factory produces a total of three WhAP. The new vehicle appears to be for the ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) and could be used in the Ladakh region based on the camo, The Defence Aviation Post writes, as the vehicle is currently being tested for high-altitude operation in Eastern Ladakh.

The new vehicle has Casspir MPV firing ports, as well as an armoured driver’s station. Remote weapon system with a small calibre. However, these Kestrels don’t have waterjets for amphibious operations, which might indicate that this might be a COIN (counter-insurgency) variant.

Tata, DRDO, and UK-based company Supacat collaborated on the Kestrel, which was unveiled at DefExpo 2014. At DefExpo 2016 and 2018, it was seen with a BMP-2 turret, and it was renamed WhAP (Wheeled Armored Platform)

The Cummins ISX 600 engine produces 600 horsepower and 1250 pound-feet of torque and has a 10 lakh-kilometer reliability rating, as well as a variable geometry turbocharger and a Euro-III rating.The vehicle has a top speed of 100 km/h and a range of 500 km. The Tata Kestrel/WhAp also has an amphibious drive mode, which allows it to cross streams at up to 10kph using onboard water jets.

The Kestrel weighs 25 tonnes and measures 7.80 metres (25.59 feet) in length, 2.95 metres (9.28 feet) in width, and 2.28 metres (7.48 feet) in height. The body is composed of high-strength steel, with composites and additional armour plates are available. Because most land mines will be discovered on the vehicle’s path, the blast force will be greatest on the floor, the seats are linked to the roof for blast protection. The Kestrel/WhAp has a seating capacity of 12 passengers, including the driver and vehicle commander. Back-to-back seating is provided, with three gun ports and vision blocks for firing on each side, as well as two hatches for patrolling. Hydraulics operate the single rear-opening door.

The two front wheels are steerable, and all eight wheels are run-flats that can be inflated and deflated centrally. The tyres and wheels won’t need to be replaced for at least 10,000 kilometres of all-terrain usage. The suspension is a hydropneumatic double-wishbone configuration, with the hydropneumatic damper providing compression-rebound and the double-wishbone arrangement providing travel (up and down motion whenever it strikes a bump), which is popular in many large off-road vehicles.

The Kestrel/WhAp has all of the life-support equipment needed to operate in an NBC environment, including filtration systems, cabin pressurisation, and automatic climate control, all of which are standard features on today’s armoured platforms.

The main armament is a Kongsberg 30-mm cannon with a remote control system, but it could be modified to a homemade BHEL-DRDO system used on other weapons systems fairly soon. The gun can fire armour-piercing incendiary (API), high-explosive incendiary (HEI), and armor-piercing fin-stabilized discarding sabot tracer (APFSDS-T) rounds with a 30-mm calibre. It has a 3,000-meter effective range. A 40-mm grenade launcher can be used as secondary weaponry. anti-tank missiles or a 12.7mm machine gun.

The WhAP can be armed with a 30 mm 2A42 main gun, a Kalashnikov PKT 7.62 mm coaxial machine gun, and a roof-mounted launcher for the AT-4 Spigot anti-tank missile system thanks to the usage of a BMP-2 turret.

As it is also capable of firing on the move, Tatra Kestrel deserves to be on the shopping list of the Indian Army.

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