We’ve known about Tata’s in-development Light Strike Vehicle for a while now, but now images have surfaced on Motorbeam that seems to indicate that the vehicle is almost ready to hit the production line. Caught on the Mumbai Pune Expressway in heavy camouflage, the Merlin -- as it is likely to be called-- was last spotted in the Himalayas in the midst of high altitude testing. In previous shots of the Merlin, the sheer dimensions of the vehicle were not as apparent as it is in an urban environment. I mean, it almost entirely dwarfs the Dzire running next to it!
Powering this monolith tank on wheels is a 3.3 litre, water-cooled direct injection common rail turbocharged diesel motor, the output 185 hp at 3200 rpm and 450 Nm of torque as low as 2400 rpm. It is also likely to feature a 4x4 system to ensure that terrain doesn’t get in the way. The LSV will also feature a turret for a 7.62 mm medium machine gun, 40 mm automatic grenade launcher and anti-tank guided missile launcher. Run-Flat technology paired with a CTIS (Central Tyre Inflation System) ensure that the vehicle can keep moving especially through hot-zones with a lot of armed fire. There’s a self-recovery winch mounted on the front as well. To ensure it comes to a stop on time the Merlin uses hydraulic brakes with vacuum assisted brake boosters on all wheels.
The Merlin will be the latest addition to Tata Motors defence oriented offerings and has not been picked up by any forces as of yet, at least that we know of. However, we expect more news to come in as it gets closer to the production timeline. As of now Tata Motors’ is providing the army with Tata Safari Storme vehicles that will aim to replace their fleet of ageing Maruti Suzuki Gypsys'
Image Source: Motorbeam.com