The Indian Army has floated a ‘Request for information (RIF)’ to purchase Protected Mobility Vehicles (PMV) for high-altitude areas and for deserts and plains.
What are they?
The PMV is essentially a wheeled armoured personnel carrier. It provides protection to the soldiers travelling inside the vehicle from mine blasts and sudden attack by small arms.
Used by troop members of any quick reaction team heading to a point of conflict, or members of patrolling parties heading to border areas.
They could also be members of a reconnaissance squad operating behind enemy lines or in forward positions of own troops.
What is Request for Information?
An RFI (request for information) is a formal process for gathering information from potential suppliers of a good or service.
RFIs are intended to be written by customers and sent to potential suppliers.
An RFI is typically the first and most broad series of requests intended to narrow down a list of potential vendor candidates.
RFIs can be very useful in situations where an organization has little knowledge on possible vendors and wants to reduce the time and cost of evaluating vendors.
What do they contain?
The PMVs have a ballistic protection and should be able to protect the vehicle from grenade and mine blasts.
It should have a maximum speed of 90 km on road and 40 km per hour on cross country terrain.
They should be able to operate in temperature range of 40 degree centigrade to minus 15 degree in high-altitude areas.
The vehicles are required to have a weapon mount to enable a 62 mm Light Machine Gun (LMG) to be fitted and a turret with 360 degree rotation for a LMG.
It is also required to have 11 firing ports with five each on the starboard and port side of the vehicle and one at the rear.
The PMV should be able to ford in water with depth of 1000 mm without any special preparation.
Can India manufacture them?
India has the capability of producing PMVs.
The Tata Advanced Systems Limited (TASL) handed over the first of such Infantry Protected Mobility Vehicles (IPMVs).
The TASL is now the first private sector company in the country to produce such wheeled armoured personnel carriers and has developed the IPMV in collaboration with the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO).