In addition to an 18-month testing protocol, the Mahindra ALSV was put up against 7.62x51mm ball rounds and HE36 hand grenades
Over the years, Mahindra & Mahindra has considerably diversified from being just an SUV/off-roader manufacturer to a global business conglomerate. In addition to automobiles, it is present in multiple sectors such as farm, construction, housing, tours & travel, IT and even retail. Talking more about automobiles, Mahindra sells cars, tractors, two-wheelers, construction equipment as well as defence or military-purpose vehicles. In the ‘Armoured’ portfolio, Mahindra has introduced its new ALSV (Armored Light Specialist Vehicle).
The product is listed on the company’s Emirates-based ‘Mahindra Armored’ website (“armoured” = British; “armored” = American). The ALSV is based on a modular structure that makes customisations or modifications easy. It lands up being apt for a wide variety of roles. For instance, the Mahindra ALSV can be used in conventional operations such as border security, reconnaissance, raids, weapon transport, patrolling, etc. Furthermore, it can be deployed in counter-terrorist tasks as part of Quick Reaction Teams or Special Force Operations.
Safety and protection of defence vehicles are always a high priority. No, we are not talking about NCAP ratings but STANAG 4569 ratings. For the uninitiated, STANAG is an internationally-accepted NATO-defined nomenclature and grading structure. STANAG 4569 relates to the standards for ‘Protection Levels for Occupants of Logistic and Light Armored Vehicles’.
Mahindra’s latest defence vehicle offers ballistic protection up to B7 STANAG Level II. The vehicle also offers protected mobility for the front, rear and side with compliance to STANAG Level 1 Ballistics and Blast. Mahindra claims that the unit is upgradable up to STANAG II Ballistics level. Mahindra has spent considerable time testing the vehicle. In fact, the Indian government’s rigorous testing protocols lasted almost 18 months. It was also put up against 7.62x51mm ball rounds and HE36 hand grenades.
The new Mahindra ALSV draws power from a 3.2-litre inline-6 STEYR diesel engine (can run on multiple fuels) which churns out 212bhp and 500 Nm of torque. This is mated to a 4-speed automatic transmission which distributes power to all four wheels. The combination allows for a top speed of 120km/h and a 0-60km/h acceleration time of roughly 12 seconds (do keep in mind that it weighs almost three tons). To make it easier for the ALSV to traverse all kinds of terrain, Mahindra has equipped it with front and rear differential locks.
Other features which deserve special mentioning include a central tyre inflation system (which can become extremely critical in war zones) and a self-recovery winch. As per claims, the ALSV has a 30-degree gradability alongside park-brake holding capacity even when it is fully loaded. Despite having a central tyre inflation system, it can run flat on its wheels for 50 kms (as per FINABEL standard) in the worst-case scenario.
Clearly, the Mahindra ALSV is a force to reckon with, both on paper and definitely on the ground too. It will be interesting to see which department would add the first ALSV.