As you know that on 13 April 2021, the Indian Air Force inducted the “Light Bullet Proof Vehicle” (LBPV) for airbase security. This vehicle was shown to media prior to the Commander’s Conference of Indian Air Force. In today’s Guarding India Exclusive, we will cover all the details about Indian Air Force’s LBPV.
You may watch these details on Guarding India YouTube Video or may continue to read this article for more details.
Before discussing the “Light Bullet Proof Vehicle”, we need to know why the Indian Air Force needed this vehicle? On 2 January 2016, during the Pathankot terrorist attack, four Pakistani terrorists attacked the Pathankot Air Force Station of the Indian Air Force. During this attack, Pakistani terrorists wanted to destroy MiG-21 fighters and Mi-35 attack helicopters of the Indian Air Force.
A single fighter jet or attack helicopter costs several hundred crore rupees and in the Pathankot attack, Pakistani terrorists wanted to destroy Indian Air Force fighters and attack helicopters worth several thousand crores. During this operation, the Indian Air Force realized that in a large area like Pathankot Air Force Station which covers more than 2000 acres, using Maruti Gypsy for transporting the Garud Commandos of Indian Air Force is not a good choice as Maruti Gypsy is an open vehicle due to which terrorist can fire upon Garud commandos from a distance.
Subsequently, the Indian Air Force started the procumbent process for buying the bulletproof vehicles for Garud Commandos who are deployed for protection of airbases in which finally Ashok Leyland’s “Light Bullet Proof Vehicle” was selected.
Indian Air Force’s “Light Bullet Proof Vehicle” is a new vehicle about which media was not aware to date and therefore confusing information is being provided on this vehicle. Indian Air Force’s new “Light Bullet Proof Vehicle” is a specialist vehicle that has been developed by modifying Ashok Leyland’s Light Specialist Vehicle 4×4 (LSV 4×4) as per the requirements of the Indian Air Force.
“Light Bullet Proof Vehicle” means LBPV is an armoured vehicle that has been fitted with STANAG Level I Protection. This vehicle has been fitted with 6 mm thick armoured plates on all sides. Even the windshields have been fitted with 40 mm bulletproof glass. Due to this advanced armour protection, the Indian Air Force’s “Light Bullet Proof Vehicle” is immune to bullets fired from AK-47 and sniper rifles.
Besides this LBPV is also immune to hand grenades and 6-8 kilogram Improvised Explosive Devices (IED bombs) used by Pakistani terrorists. Due to these features, Garud Commandos sitting inside this vehicle will be completely safe from terrorist firing and they can easily reach the areas affected by a terrorist attack.
After reaching near the terrorists Indian Air Force’s Garud Commandos will use armoured canopy fitted on top of the LBPV for continuously firing Light Machine Guns (LMG). This will enable other Commandos to close in with the terrorists and kill them immediately due to which any terrorist attacks will be neutralized much faster.
LBPV has a length of 5-meter, a width of 1.8 meters while its height is 2.3 meters. This vehicle weighs 6 tons, and it can carry 6 Garud Commandos. This vehicle has been fitted with Ashok Leyland’s 6-cylinder H6 engine with a 6-speed gearbox which provides a LBPV with a top speed of 100 to 120 km/hour. Additionally, this vehicle can also carry a 1000-kilogram weapon and ammunition in its rear cargo bay.
LBPV is built upon a rugged space frame chassis which results in excellent off-roading capability and that is why it can travel in any type of terrain. Besides this, LBPV has also been provided with ‘Integrated Electronically Controlled Air Suspension’ and ‘Ride Height Management System’. These two systems change LBPV’s tyre air-pressure and vehicle’s height as per the terrain requirements. These features further enhance the mobility of the LBPV. This vehicle has Run Flat tyres which can carry commandos out of the dangerous area even when tyres have been damaged.
Besides this LBPV also has roof-mounted searchlights and a public announcement system which can lighten up any dark area and can temporarily blind terrorists for few seconds due to bright flash which facilitates the anti-terrorist operations of the Garud Commandos.
Finally, on behalf of Team Guarding India, I would like to say that the IAF’s “Light Bullet Proof Vehicle” is a very capable vehicle and in case of any terrorist attack, it will help Garud Commandos to neutralize terrorists with lightning speed. Besides this, the “Light Bullet Proof Vehicle” will also enhance the security of all airbases of the IAF.