ITBP to procure all-terrain vehicles for deployment on China border
The non-amphibious vehicles will be required to operate at temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees centigrade and as high as 45 degrees.india Updated: Feb 08, 2018 12:48 IST
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) force has initiated the process of procuring all-terrain non-amphibious vehicles that will enhance navigation and deployment capabilities of the paramilitary troopers posted at the sensitive India-China border, according to senior home ministry officials.
The procurement is initiated keeping in mind the rugged terrain of the Himalayan border that India shares with China and other countries on its eastern front.
A senior ITBP official said the procurement of the all-terrain vehicle would be considered subject to successful field trial of the same in the areas of deployment of the paramilitary force.
The paramilitary force has put out expression of interest inviting comments of vendors and possible manufacturers to ensure market availability of the all terrain vehicle.
The all-terrain vehicles will be required to operate at temperatures as low as minus 20 degrees centigrade and as high as 45 degrees. The altitude range required is 15,000 ft and above.
As of now the ITBP relies on sport-utility vehicle, also known as SUV, and foot patrolling to scale mountainous tracks of the 3488 km-long India-China border that runs along Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, Sikkim and Arunachal Pradesh.
Troops of both the countries were engaged in military standoff last year as China attempted to extend a road on the Doklam Plateau at the India-China-Bhutan tri-junction.
“Hills and mountains with a 45 to 75 degree slope, hard and soft snow, rocky surfaces, lose boulders or screes and extreme temperatures are some of the challenges that our troops face on daily basis. It is important for the ITBP to operate smoothly in a hostile terrain and a vehicle with 24X7 mobility is a must. The deployment of the vehicle will certainly improve effective vigil on the borders,” the officer said.
According to the qualitative requirements framed by the ITBP, the vehicle required should be weighing 4800 kilograms, should accommodate a minimum of seven soldiers with their luggage and arms and ammunition.
The most important feature, however, is the vehicle should scale mountains with a 30 degree front slope and a 17 degree side slope.
A senior home ministry official said the decision is part of the modernisation of police forces scheme that received a further push when home secretary Rajiv Gauba delegated purchasing powers to director generals of paramilitary forces.
“Power to purchase vehicles or any other equipment had been delegated to DGs in order to fast track the procurement and the decision has begun to show its effects. The all terrain vehicle is an extremely important means of travel in rugged border terrains and procuring the same at the earliest will help the paramilitary forces greatly,” said the official.