Enhancing Army Capability with High Mobility Vehicles (HMV) and Material Handling Crane (MHC)

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The Army is seeking to acquire 650 high mobility vehicles (HMV) 6X6 equipped with a material handling crane for transporting ammunition and heavy equipment in mountainous regions such as Ladakh and Sikkim, as well as in desert terrains along the Pakistan border, according to The Indian Express.

This initiative comes as part of increased infrastructure and operational deployments along the northern borders in response to the standoff with China in May 2020.

Officials stated that the HMVs will enhance the Army’s capability to transport heavy ammunition across various terrains, while the material handling crane (MHC) will expedite vehicle loading and unloading, reducing manual effort.

An official noted that the configuration previously only existed with the aging Scania ammunition carrier trucks in the Bofors Artillery System, and the other trucks — Tatra and KrAZ — do not have the MHC.

Additionally, HMVs are utilized in operations to transport Infantry troops in deserts, keep pace with advancing Armoured columns, tow guns, and carry artillery ammunition.

In a Request for Information (RFI) issued on Wednesday, the Army specified that the vehicles will be used for transporting heavy equipment and stores on metalled roads and tracks.

The 6X6 HMVs should have a payload capacity of at least 8,000 kg and be able to tow a minimum load of 20 tonnes. The RFI also stated that the platform should allow for modification to carry troops, containers, and fulfill other specialist roles. Furthermore, the vehicles should be capable of operating in extreme temperatures and weather conditions, and be transportable by the Indian Air Force’s IL 76 and C 17 transport aircraft, as well as broad-gauge railway military bogeys.

The RFI indicated that the vehicle weight should not exceed 24,000 kg. As for the MHC, the RFI specified that it should have an outreach payload capability to lift ammunition pallets or heavy loads weighing a minimum of 700 kg at a reach of 9 meters.

The RFI also stated that the vehicle should be equipped with a contemporary turbocharged diesel engine and have a service life of at least 15 years or 150,000 km.

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