Indian Army Evaluates TATA Kestral IFV
The Indian Amry evaluating or field trailing the Tata Kestral wheeled platform for limited number of Infantry Fighting vehicle for the Army's Elite corps, earlier in the Def Expo TATA unveiled a Model of a 8x8 wheeled platform for Army's Future Infantry Combat Vehicle, this one is produced with the support of DRDO and manufactured by TATA. The Army now evaluating the Kestral before buy in limited numbers which helps them to go for huge orders FICV based on Kestral.
Sources says TATA already provided three prototypes to the Army to conduct field Trails and evaluate it's performance before going to the order. the Army will further check the system and suggest the TATA for minor changes and improvements makes the systems best. the original contract value of the FICV program is about more than $10 billions to supply wheeled and Tracked FICV's to the Army. and the order numbers may goes upto 2500 to fill up and replace old soviet era BMP, and BMP 2 Sarath from Front line services,
The Indian Army uses multiple variants of BMP 2 armored personnel Carriers. those BMP's comes with 30mm main cannon for heavy fire support and a 7.62 HMG for anti personnel use, but those can be replaced with Anti tank missile carriers, Specialized Mortars and so.but those lacks of primary protection systems like Laser warning Receiver, anti RPG rounds, and smoke launchers to Hide and sneak from dense enemy area's. so the need of replacement is must, those new generation IFV and FICV comes with automatic cannons and protective systems with improved armor and mobility.
The TATA kestral comes with fully Automatic remote weapon station, which Requires zero crews to operate the weapons, the Primary cannon produced by Konsberg Protector MCT-30R(RWS), uses a 30 mm Gun, which works as full automatic mode, the remote weapon station gets targets by laser and thermal readings, and engages with or without the approval of commander. the 30 mm cannon can fire small HE and small armor piercing rounds to kill enemy IFV and other armored platforms. the main cannon can hits the target accurately even at the Range of 3 Kilo meters,
The Secondary weapon is the 7.62 mm machine gun for anti personnel use, the coaxial gun also assigned with the main cannon's fire control and target acquisition systems, this gun used to engage enemy cover and infantry soldiers at close and medium ranges to give additional support to the deployed forces in the battle area. the 7.62 mm cannon also used to engage enemy choppers in closest range, it can engage only enemy troop transporting helicopters and observation helicopters, not the Attack Helicopters.
The FICV or IFV can be configured with two Anti tank missile systems, possibly Spike fire and forget anti tank guided missile, to engage enemy Tanks from standoff Region, gives full support to the IFV from Enemy Tanks and Armored platforms. which helps the IFV can engage enemy main battle Tanks too. gives an additional support for the crew from enemy Fire. the Spike Range varied from 2.5 km to 4 km depend upon the variant of the missile.
The TATA Kestral comes with additional mounting of either 40mm Grenade launcher or a 12.7 mm Heavy machine gun. the port will host any such systems, to give addition fire support to the deployed Troops.
The Kestral can Transport nine fully armed Infantry Soldiers with three Kestral IFV crew, one driver, commander and weapon support officer. and can move at the rate of 100 kilometers in roads, and good mobility on cross roads, and Hills, the Kestral has amphibious capability can move in the waters at the speed 10 km per hour.
A 600 HP engine used in the Kestral to move the 25 Ton heavy IFV in roads and water, and gives good speed in cross roads desert and Mountain terrains. with the 25 tons of weight the IAF's C 17 can able to carry three Kestrals and the IL 76 can carry two Kestrals.
It's expected that Army will clear the Kestral's field Trails and buy some good numbers. with the field of experience with the Kestral, Army will order more numbers to fulfill the FICV requirement.