The Kalyani Group’s Bharat Forge Ltd, on 11 October 2022, handed over sixteen M4 Quick Reaction Fighting Vehicles to the Indian Army for use by its deployed United Nations Peacekeeping force.
The M4, a license built version of the South African Paramount Group M4 Mbumba, was selected following extensive Army trials. An emergency procurement contract of ₹177.95 Crores ($US23.6 million) was awarded. M4 which emphasizes both ballistic and mine/blast protection and is intended for troop transport, although command and ambulances are also possible.
Mr. Amit Kalyani, Deputy Managing Director, Bharat Forge Ltd. explained, “Keeping crew safety and vehicle performance as paramount factors, Kalyani M4 has been ergonomically and aesthetically designed to allow the crew to perform their duties in an optimum manner.”
At 16 tons overall weight it uses a monocoque hull which will resist 7.62mm armoured piercing shots at 30 meters range and 14.5 mm AP at 200 meters. It will also resist a blast of 10 kg under any wheel or 50 kg blast alongside. Run Flat tires and central tire inflation (CTI) allow retaining mobility despite combat puncture. Power is provided by a turbocharged six-cylinder 347 kW/465 hp diesel engine linked to an automatic transmission.
The M4 has a 2.3 ton payload and capacity for eight embarked soldiers who exit through a powered rear ramp. The troop compartment is equipped with ballistic resistant vision blocks and gun ports allowing soldiers some degree of outside awareness. The interior is fully climate controlled by a 16kW air-conditioning and offers chemical agent protection with HEPA filtered air.
As first displayed at the 2020 DEFEXPO it mounted a .50 calibre heavy machine gun on the roof accessed via a hatch.
The principal function of the Kalyani M4 with the Indian Army is to provide a well-protected means to move troops with lower risk of casualties when operating in unsecured or hostile areas. They also can perform patrol and offer a force presence while reducing the exposure of soldiers. It is currently unclear if the Army intends to acquire additional M4s or if this fielding is limited to meeting the specific demands of its UN continents.
by Stephen W. Miller