Why Indian Army’s Kalyani M4 purchase is a Big Deal?

On 23 February 2021, Indian firm Bharat Forge announced that it has received defence ministry orders worth Rs177.95 crore for the manufacture and supply of Kalyani M4 vehicles. This contract was part of Rs 13,700 crore procurement orders from the Indian Defence Ministry.

The exact number of vehicles that will be delivered to the Indian Army has not been disclosed, however, estimates suggest that it will result in the production and supply of around 200 Kalyani M4 vehicles by Bharat Forge. In today’s Guarding India exclusive we will cover various aspects of the new Kalyani M4 vehicle.

Kalyani M4 at High Altitude | PC : Reuters

Kalyani M4 is a lightly armored wheeled vehicle that is designed to fill the gap between a tank and light vehicles like the Indian Army Maruti Gypsy. This results in Kalyani M4 having excellent mobility with reasonably good armored protection that is often needed on the modern battlefield. The present-day Kalyani M4 is the result of a collaboration between Paramount Group and Indian firm Bharat Forge.

The Kalyani M4 is largely based on the Paramount Group’s Mbombe 4×4 vehicle which is part of South Africa’s highly advanced Mbombe family of combat vehicles. The Mbombe 8×8 (eight-wheeled vehicle) and Mbombe 6×6 (six-wheeled vehicle) variants are already in service with the South African Army with an excellent track record. The Kalyani M4 uses the same design philosophy and armored protection for arriving on winning combination.

MBombe 4
MBombe 4 | PC : Kalyani Group

The Kalyani M4 has a striking new design that will look ever better in Indian camouflage and is expected to be a head-turner at Republic Day parades. This vehicle is packed to brim with the latest technologies needed for battlefield reconnaissance with limited offensive power in form of optional remotely operated weapon and sensor payloads required for the modern battlefield. To defeat ever-evolving threats faced by Indian Army troops operating in counterinsurgency and other conventional operations, the Kalyani M 4 offers an impressive mix of outstanding protection, mobility, and flexibility in a single platform.

The Kalyani 4 has a ‘conventional’ or ‘in-line’ automotive driveline configuration in which the engine is placed at the front of the vehicle. This configuration not only provides better handling and mobility characteristics but also provides enhanced protection against frontal attacks. Additionally, the Kalyani M4 offers very high levels of ballistic and mine protection as the crew compartment is compliant with STANAG 4569-Level 3, blast protection STANAG 4569-Level 4A & 4B.

Furthermore, it can provide protection against a blast of 50kg TNT from the side or under the vehicle. Just to recollect present-day Indian Army is facing increased IED threats in Kashmir valley, the high mobility wheeled armored vehicles become essential. These parameters suggest that Kalyani M4 will be completely immune to small arms fire till 7.62, UBGL firing, and sticky bombs which are more frequently used by terrorists.

BDU in Kashmir
BDU in Kashmir | PC : Rifat Abdullah/twitter

Finally, Team Guarding India is confident that Kalyani M4 is the first in many specialists ‘Made in India’ vehicles that will be purchased by the Indian Army. The major defence or automotive companies that will join the race will be Bharat Forge, Ashok Leyland, Mahindra & Mahindra, Tata and state-owned OFB. This purchase also marks a major shift in defence policy as well as one marking the major victory of the Indian private sector in defence equipment.

SOURCE: guarding India

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