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Armored Cars: Mahindra ALSV

February 19, 2020

Via Mahindra Emirates Vehicle Armouring.

After nearly two years of development the latest tactical 4×4 from Mahindra looks like it was tailored for the Middle East’s trouble spots. The Indian mega-corporation’s armored vehicle plant in the UAE oversaw the whole project whose official launch came in November 2019. Since then the Armored Light Specialist Vehicle or ALSV has joined a diverse catalog of protected trucks and is approved for export. Judging by its looks the ALSV is supposed to compete with models such as the formidable Oshkosh JLTV and the Nimr Ajban, with either having years of strong exports behind them.

Not to be outdone, the ALSV promises to fulfill whatever the end user requires. Its standard layout features a double cab for five passengers, including the driver, and a bed carrying gear or extra dismounts; the two bins above the trenching tools serve as cabinets when needed. It’s also possible to enclose the back for additional protected space with a rear door serving as the entry and exit point. When readied for a dust up, the ALSV’s ring mount supports any type of weapon station, from a basic ring mount to a fully enclosed turret, and the vehicle’s ballistic protection level is set at STANAG II.

The ALSV isn’t mine-resistant but blast mitigating floor inserts and other countermeasures for surviving explosives can be added. The inclusion of fully independent 4×4 suspension, an air filter, and runflat tires guarantees the vehicle is able to fight whatever the terrain. When it comes to mobility–drivers will appreciate its four-speed automatic transmission–the ALSV runs on an unspecified 215 horsepower turbo diesel engine giving it a 120 kilometer per hour top speed and a 400 km range on paper. It might not be amphibious but the ALSV is undeterred by water crossings as long as these aren’t deeper than three feet.

Since Mahindra Emirates is responsible for the ALSV’s success its intended market is the MENA region where demand for wheeled armored vehicles is constant. With the open ended nature of the wars in Iraq, Libya, the Sahel, Syria, and Yemen packing armor and survivability onto a single platform (the ALSV scales a modest nine tons fully loaded) rather than depending on various MRAPs is the better solution. It explains why Mahindra’s product literature suggests roles like command and control, convoy protection, battlefield logistics, medical transport, and a mortar carrier for the ALSV. The type of campaign it’s supposed to thrive in are protracted efforts by regular militaries who must seize and hold large amounts of territory against insurgents.

The ALSV is suited for conventional force structures too. With optional left and right hand steering, and potential variants equipped for reconnaissance and surveillance, the ALSV may find a niche with India’s armed forces whose logistics pool has a glaring shortage of protected transports. Besides, Mahindra built its reputation over 80 years by supplying trucks to the army. Whether it’s the scorching deserts of the northwest or the jungles in the southeast, the ALSV has another huge market waiting for it back home.

To date the Mahindra ALSV’s direct competitors are:

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