The Indian Army has placed an order to procure M4 armoured vehicles from the Pune headquartered company, Bharat Forge of the Kalyani group. Army has used its emergency power to procure Rs 177.95 crores worth of these armoured vehicles. Notably, amidst the border stand-off, these vehicles were tested in the high altitude and low-temperature terrain in Eastern Ladakh. On Tuesday, the company issued a statement announcing that it had "received an order worth Rs 177.95 crores from the Indian Ministry of Defence for the supply of Kalyani M4 vehicles".
After the company bagged an order worth around Rs 178 crore, the Bharat Forge share price rose more than 2 per cent intraday on February 23. The stock traded at Rs 602.30, up to Rs 14.10, at 10:55 hours, or 2.40 per cent. It touched Rs 610 intraday high to eventually close at Rs. 607.05.
As per a report in the Print, emergency procurement at this stage is for a tiny number, and they are looking to further expand the number of armoured vehicles in the arsenal of the Army. The sources added that the Army wants wheeled armoured vehicles capable of moving troops more efficient and capable of operating in high-altitude areas.
They acknowledged that the Kalyani M4 has some additional features than standard vehicles, but declined to expand on the specifics further. In August 2020, the vehicle and its rivals underwent trials in Ladakh.
The Kalyani M4, to be manufactured at the company's Pune factory, is a multi-purpose platform specifically to accommodate the Armed Forces' requirements for rapid mobility in rugged terrain and areas affected by mine and IED threats.
Due to its construction, which is installed on a flat-floor monocoque hull, it has ballistic and blasts protection from up to 50 kg TNT side blast, or IED or roadside bombs. The maximum payload of the vehicle is 2.3 tonnes with a thrust speed of 140 km per hour and the operating range is approximately 800 km.
It is an armoured vehicle with an emphasis on the performance and security of soldiers with a capacity of eight soldiers. It can easily operate at an approach angle of 43 degrees and a descent angle of 44 degrees. Moreover, it can operate continuously from -20 degree to 50-degree temperature. Its design is monocoque i.e. everything is within it, nothing outside. The mirrors in it are so strong that they can withstand the fire of sniper and anti-material rifles.
It is pertinent to note that originally, M4 has been manufactured by Paramount Group a South African weapons company but Bharat Forge has enhanced the product as per India specific requirement. The two companies have also recently signed an agreement to combine their technology, expertise and experience to manufacture armoured vehicles in India.