The new Kalyani M4 will be used by the Indian Defence Services for taking on challenging terrain and places where there is risk of land mines or IEDs
Bharat Forge, a part of the Kalyani Group, has received an order worth Rs. 177.95 crores from Ministry of Defence for supply of Kalyani M4 armoured vehicles. The order comes at a time when Prime Minister Narendra Modi has emphasized the importance of involving the private sector in terms of development of India’s defence manufacturing base. These vehicles have been put to the test in Ladakh, one of the sites of the ongoing India-China standoff.
The Indian Army has placed an emergent procurement order with the Pune based Bharat Forge. While this initial order is for a small number of the M4, the Army is looking to further increase the number of such vehicles in their inventory.
Testing and Production Plans
The Kalani M4 had been put to the test in Ladakh along with its competitors in August 2020. This is a multi-purpose armoured vehicle that ideally caters to the demands of the Indian Army that need to transport troops in a faster and more capable manner to regions of higher altitudes. Production will be conducted at the Bharat Force plant in Pune in association with Paramount Group, a South African based defence equipment manufacturer.
This all terrain people carrier is designed for quick mobility. Its ability to protect its occupants is its core point and has the capacity to carry a minimum payload of 2.3 tonnes or a total of 8 persons.
M4 weighs 16 tons. It is capable of varying off roading angles with an approach angle of 43 degrees and departure angle of 44 degrees with water wading capacity upto 900mm. It stands 2,600mm in width and 2,450mm in height and apart from taking on the toughest terrain is even capable of handling the most extreme weather conditions from a range of -20 degrees to 50 degrees Centigrade.
It allows for protection in areas of land mines and against improvised explosive devices and its flat floor monocoque hull ensures protection from ballistic and upto 50 kg TNT side blasts. Ample storage space for defence equipment and comfort of passengers is also a part of its highlights.
A vast expanse of two large windscreens offers the occupants an overall view of the surrounding areas while the glass in viewports can take on fires from sniper and anti-material rifle fire. Features also include run flat tyres that work even when shot or punctured, a driver assist camera system and a 16 kW air conditioning system with HEPA filters.
The Kalyani M4 is powered by a turbo charged, 6 cylinder diesel engine that offers 465 hp power and 1,627 Nm torque. The engine is mated to a CVT automatic gearbox. It is a 4 wheel drive system with 3 air operated differential locks. These power and torque figures are twice as much as that offered by any other armoured vehicle currently being used by the India Army.
The M4 can hit a top speed of 140 km/h and has a drive range of 800 km on single tank. Braking is via disc brakes with pneumatic actuation while the M4 also gets Anti-Lock Braking System.