The Indian Army has new combat vehicles IPMVs in Ladakh that are quicker and have better manoeuvrability for functioning in the tough terrain at a height of over 16000 feet. A dozen of these new machines called the Infantry Protected Mobility Vehicle have been inducted after extensive trials in the high altitude plateau region of Eastern Ladakh.
The vehicle is mounted with a 360 degree machine gun, that can be remote controlled and has a capacity of carrying 12 fully armed soldiers who can fire from the 10 firing ports inside. The vehicles have bulletproof protection from small arms fire. The initial induction happened in Ladakh but as production increases, they can also be used in other areas and even in counter terror operations.
These are indigenously manufactured by Tata-Advanced-Systems-Limited. The need for such vehicles was felt at the peak of the military tussle with China in Ladakh in the summer of 2020. As the Chinese made aggressive moves, the Indian Army had started trials two years back.
The Infantry Protected Mobility Vehicle is an armoured personnel carrier that can be used for swift patrols and quick induction of troops for various missions like reconnaissance and offensive operations. With the situation still fragile in Ladakh, this is an important addition for the Indian Army. There have been 16 rounds of Corps Commander level military talks but a final resolution is nowhere in sight, even though there has been a piecemeal disengagement from the friction points.
The Indian Army has been continuously adding platforms to its armoury to boost its capabilities in Ladakh. Earlier, the army got a dozen new indigenously built strong boats deployed in the Pangong Lake that have anti – ramming capabilities and enhanced capacity to accommodate additional troops. Officials said the vehicle was designed with close interaction with the Indian Army and paves the way for future platforms like light tanks and other requirements for high altitude areas. As the Chinese dig in their heels, there have been additions on their side too.
Last year, the Chinese military showcased new armoured vehicle VN22 which has been described as a new generation armoured vehicle. It’s a six-wheeled vehicle that Chinese claim can withstand an explosion of 10 kgs TNT. The photographs released showed its resemblance to the Stryker armoured vehicle used by the US forces. Like all such platforms, it can be used for patrol, reconnaissance, and attack missions.