Bharat Forge on Monday despatched the indigenously-developed Kalyani M4 (KM4), a mine protected heavy armoured personnel carrier, to the Indian Army for their United Nations Peacekeeping deployment. A fleet of 16 KM4 vehicles that offered protection to troops from mine blasts, rockets and grenades was rolled out of the Pune plant of Bharat Forge.
“The quick reaction fighting vehicle, Kalyani M4 was first deployed in March 2020 during the Galwan crisis when the then chief of defence staff late General Bipin Rawat prodded us to make a 4×4 configuration vehicle that could go anywhere, withstand low temperature and also work in high temperature areas,” Bharat Forge CMD Baba Kalyani said.
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The challenge was that there were no roads and the vehicles had to move troops and equipment to an altitude of 18,000 feet and no other manufacturer could supply a vehicle that was able to do this, Kalyani added.
Amit Kalyani, deputy MD, Bharat Forge, said troops have traditionally been moved in light vehicles, buses, Shaktiman trucks or air-dropped by helicopters or airplanes, but the requirements have changed with troop safety becoming important in hostile environments. “Moving troops at 16,000-18,000 ft is a very specific requirement for our country and a few other countries and these solutions have to be developed in India,” Kalyani said.
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The vehicle has been designed and developed in India with IPR developed in India, he added.
Apart from the Indian Army, paramilitary forces, state police and Border Security Force (BSF) have shown interest in the vehicle.