TATA’s Kestral 8×8 Armored Fighting Vehicle to be tested by Indian Army

Neeraj Mathur

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TATA’s Kestral 8×8 Armored Fighting Vehicle to be tested by Indian Army.



According to reliable information provided to idrw.org, TATA Motors which had showcased Kestral 8×8 Armored Fighting Vehicle at Defexpo 2014 as a possible contender to the Indian Army Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle program, has been Cleared by government to carry out trials in India and Indian Army will be conducting Initial user trials in coming months.

TATA Motors will be providing Indian Army 3 Kestral Amphibious Armored Fighting Vehicles (AFV) for Initial user trails and Indian Army after evaluation will suggest changes or improvements to meet their Specific requirements.

Kestrel was designed by Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Supacat of the UK. DRDO provided designs to TATA Motors and British Company Supacat which specializes in designs and manufactures of high mobility vehicles chipped by providing protection and firepower support for the Vehicle.

Kestrel which weighs 22.5-26 tons is powered by 600HP diesel engine. and can carry 10 fully armed troops along with 2 Crew members and will be instrumental in providing firepower to the advancing troops. the vehicle is equipped with NBC protection and crew compartment is protected by applying inner composite spall liner as per mission requirements of the user to preotect its crew from small and heavy arms fire.

Kestral can travel at 100km on Normal Roads and around 10km in water. Kestral comes with independent suspensions and eight wheel drive, with the flat run capability which means vehicles can move around even when it has suffered puncture to any number of tires.

Kestral displayed at Defexpo 2014 was carrying a Kongsberg 40mm remotely controlled Station along with two Javelin ATGM missiles. they are also talks about adding 40mm Automatic grenade launcher along with support for 12.7mm heavy machine gun.

Indian army still uses 1500 Soviet era BMP infantry combat vehicle which are been upgraded to BMP-2M standard and will remain in service for another decades to come, Kestral if accepted will be replacing older BMP vehicles purchased in 80’s.
 
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Immanuel

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Fantastic, its about time. Hopefully, they can push it to its limits asap and clear its induction thus mass production. We need around 5000 of these.
 

Neeraj Mathur

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That sounds like a very expensive and unnecessary proposition. Mechanization and motorization levels of IA are at a optimum level right now.
5000 is sensible number if we are to replace every bmp we have
 

jackprince

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That sounds like a very expensive and unnecessary proposition. Mechanization and motorization levels of IA are at a optimum level right now.
Actually, the no. is not sufficient. Only to replace all the BMPs in service, we need about 8000 nos. Also, I guess it can be modified for carrying out other tasks too, like NAMICA, ambulence version, command-control version etc. So, if it does pass with flying colours in tests, provided the tests are unbiased, 5000 is not a big no.
 

Immanuel

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These would be needed not just for the Mechanized Infantry but also for Marine brigades being raised. Also, 5000+ of these means, we can have different variants including versions with 105mm artillery, guided missiles, SAMs etc. It is an Ideal platform for many spin offs.
 

Abhijeet Dey

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What should be the main armaments of Kestrel if it is selected by the Army? Instead of Javelins they can go for NAMICAS or Spike missiles.
 

ezsasa

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@Neeraj Mathur ,@Immanuel , @jackprince

Current strength of AIFV and APC in IA.

AIFV :

BMP-1 = 350+
BMP-2K = 125+ (362 more on order)
BMP-2 = 980+ (~1500 including all variants in 2015)

APC :

OT 64/62 = 157

Recce:

BRDM = 110
Does this mean TATA Kestral's first tranche order will not go beyond 500, assuming they are replacing BMP-1 for now.
 

blueblood

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Does this mean TATA Kestral's first tranche order will not go beyond 500, assuming they are replacing BMP-1 for now.
Could be as there are other applications for Kestrel as jackprince stated but replacing BMP-2 is probably not one of them.

Indian mech forces right now are a threat based force and expansion is only viable if you are moving from threat based to capability based force levels, something I don't see in the near future because of more urgent funding priorities.
 

tejas warrior

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TATAs will happily accept order of 500 as it will give them an entry to this space and if future new variants can be designed and produced.
 

jackprince

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@Neeraj Mathur ,@Immanuel , @jackprince

Current strength of AIFV and APC in IA.

AIFV :

BMP-1 = 350+
BMP-2K = 125+ (362 more on order)
BMP-2 = 980+ (~1500 including all variants in 2015)

APC :

OT 64/62 = 157

Recce:

BRDM = 110
Yes, I know that. That is why I stated this "Also, I guess it can be modified for carrying out other tasks too, like NAMICA, ambulence version, command-control version etc. So, if it does pass with flying colours in tests, provided the tests are unbiased, 5000 is not a big no."

IMHO, adopting a single all around platform is better than several platform as that simplifies the logistics which by some experts here is the main concern for the army's mobility.

Further, I would like to see every battalion of army to get a few of the APCs, not only in mechanised forces.

About 7000 of modified BMPs are in other engineering service at IA.
 
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Abhijeet Dey

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TATA Motors should also look at exporting these vehicles to other countries if they fail to impress Indian Army's requirements.
 

blueblood

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Yes, I know that. That is why I stated this "Also, I guess it can be modified for carrying out other tasks too, like NAMICA, ambulence version, command-control version etc. So, if it does pass with flying colours in tests, provided the tests are unbiased, 5000 is not a big no."
5000 is a huge number as far as IA is concerned. The number of total tracked IFVs in service are nearly 1800, which includes every variant available right now. FICV project was expected to be ~2600 units, both tracked and wheeled including their variants.

Let me explain with an analogy, not the best one but still.....

IAF has sanctioned strength of 42 squadrons and you want in double it to 84 which is larger than RuAF and PLAAF. India don't need it nor can afford it. Unless US is planning to invade India such a force is useless.
..................................................................

IMHO, adopting a single all around platform is better than several platform as that simplifies the logistics which by some experts here is the main concern for the army's mobility.
IA's equipment diversity is not even close to what major armies had during cold war and yet had better mobility. You cannot adopt a wheeled platform in lieu of a tracked one. So far the only country to do that is France and the verdict is not out.

World is moving towards much heavier platforms with equivalent protection and mobility of an MBT. From Namer to T-15, take you pick.


Further, I would like to see every battalion of army to get a few of the APCs, not only in mechanised forces.
Not how it works.

About 7000 of modified BMPs are in other engineering service at IA.
Don't trust wiki with numbers. It is equivalent of saying we have 2 cars but we have 7 tow trucks in case one of the the cars break down. Total number of BMP-2 in service is ~1500 with 362 more on order replacing the BMP-1s and older ones are about to be modernized.

...........................................................................................................

Let me explain the difference between threat based and capability based forces.

Indian armour and mech forces are threat based forces i.e. the threat they are going to face which is Pak army (in the current scenario). Recent raising of armour in Leh are based on the same principal.

IA armoured corps has 63 regiments against 42 of PAs. As you can see IA has a big advantage there (in numbers) which is sufficient for now.

OTOH, IA's acquisition of 114 LCH and Apaches will result in capability based planning. IA will use it at its own discretion not that of enemy's. Agni-5 is threat based system, sorely needed to target Beijing and Agni-6 with its proposed 10,000 km will be a capability based system.

"We'll build it because we can."

“A capability-based strategy [is] one that focuses less on who might threaten us or where we might be threatened, and more on how we might be threatened and what we need to do to deter and defend against such threats.” - Donald Rumsfeld
 

pmaitra

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Indian army still uses 1500 Soviet era BMP infantry combat vehicle which are been upgraded to BMP-2M standard and will remain in service for another decades to come, Kestral if accepted will be replacing older BMP vehicles purchased in 80’s.
The Kestrel will be a replacement of the BTR and OT-64 SKOT, not BMP.
 

Immanuel

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I think Kestrel can be the ideal platform for Namica for Nag, AA guns, 105mm field gun i.e. a WPH, recovery vehicles, Anti mine variant with mine plough, NBC Recon, Unmanned armed UGV, Field command and control, Akash missile launcher etc. Hence an order of 5000 would be justified. When you have modular platform like this, psins off can be made easily and over time, the cost savings in commonality, ease of service etc. give a massive field advantage.
 

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