Indian Armed Forces has one of the largest land based Armies across the world and naturally, Indian Army needs a lot of specialized vehicles to transport such large and highly trained forces in all sorts of terrains. The latest vehicle to reach the Indian Armed Forces to support the Army is the Tata Merlin LSV (Light Support Vehicle).
While Indian Army has not formally inducted this armored vehicle, the LSV is commissioned by the defence forces and is currently on test as seen in the multiple images recently. However, Tata has rolled out a couple of vehicles for demonstration and testing.
1500th Tata Safari Storme for the Indian Army. (Image: Tata Motors)
Tata is already a major supplier for Indian Armed Forces and was recently awarded a contract to replace the ageing Maruti Suzuki Gypsy as the official vehicle for the Indian Army. For the same purpose, Tata will deliver 3193 Safari Storme 4x4 SUVs to the Army.
As for the new Light Support Vehicle (LSV), it will be called Merlin and gets STANAG 4569 Level-1 protection on the sides and rear (one of the highest rated protection according to the NATO standards). The protection can save the occupants from artillery, grenade and mine blasts and also absorbs kinetic energy.
Tata Merlin is also well-equipped with customised weapons and has a 7.6mm medium machine gun turret on the roof and a 40mm automatic grenade launcher too. Then there are the anti-tank missiles installed for added safety.
The LSV is powered by a 3.3-litre liquid-cooled, direct-injection diesel engine that produces 185 Bhp at 3,200 rpm and 450 Nm at 2,400 rpm and is equipped with a 4x4 driving system. For added safety, the Merlin gets run-flat tyres with advanced Central Tyre Inflation System.
This system can lower the air pressure for more traction or can add the air pressure with a touch of the button, depending on the terrain.