Kalyani Strategic Systems Ltd., a subsidiary of Kalyani Group specialising in defence vehicles and technology, is developing Light Specialist Vehicle (Kalyani likes to call it as Light Strike Vehicle) for the Indian Army. Kalyani LSV is based on AM General’s platform which also underpins the US Army’s iconic HMMWV (also known as Humvee or Hummer).

Several variants of the LSV to suit different mission requirements are being developed. Automotive enthusiast Harshit Prajapati spotted one of those variants on test on Ahmadabad to Daman road recently. While the prototype appears to be armoured, it settles for a tarpaulin top instead of a hard roof, may be owing to a specific mission requirement.

Defence vehicles are all about functionality rather than aesthetics and this LSV also subscribes to this theme. A high ground clearance (roughly 300 mm) enables excellent all-terrain capability in addition to keeping the crew as far away as possible from the origin of a mine blast.

Kalyani claims that the armour plates of the LSV can be upgraded by removing the external skin and fitting superior ones. The basic armour kit is claimed to offer ballistic protection from light weapons fire.

The vehicle also comes with V-shaped hull to deflect the impact of explosions under the body and keep the crew safe. The vehicle uses C-section chassis with longitudinal reinforcements and tubular cross members to achieve high torsional rigidity. Power comes from an unspecified motor which has a rated output of 140 KW (187 hp). The engine can be specified either with a 6-speed manual or an automatic gearbox.

The Kalyani LSV is available in two wheelbase configurations – 3.2 m and 3.5 m. The vehicle accommodates 5 suspended seats and has space for cargo. The armoured vehicle is designed in such a way to make it transportable in a Boeing CH-47 Chinook Helicopter. A Lockheed C-130 Hercules can carry two LSVs. The LSV has a gross vehicle weight of 4.5 tonnes, giving it enough room for the armour plates as well as cargo.