SOURCE: The Hitavada
Ordnance Factory Board (OFB), Kolkata, is developing Modified Mine Protected Vehicle (M-MPV) at Vehicle Factory Jabalpur to strengthen security forces for ambush in Naxal-infested areas. VFJ has successfully developed the prototype of modified vehicle but its final testing is delayed due to absence of required components in India.
“Mine Protected Vehicles are being manufactured as per the earlier requirements received from the Ministry of Defence and Ministry of Home Affairs. Recent incident in which several CRPF personnel lost their lives confirmed that the rebellions are well resourced to counter the available defence equipment. Keeping this point in view, the factory is making necessary modifications in Mine Protected Vehicle to safeguard our soldiers to ambush in infested areas”, said Sunil Kumar Chourasia, Chairman of Ordnance Factory Board, and Director General of Ordnance Factories.
S K Chourasia, talking to ‘The Hitavada’, informed that the VFJ has already developed prototype of M-MPV but the project is being delayed due to unavailability of some necessary components in the country. The factory and board is looking over the availability of components to start its production as earliest.A senior IOFS officer, wishing not to be named, informed that modification of MPV is not enough to ensure security of soldiers till the following of Standard Operation Procedures (SOPs) as Naxals will also modify their counter attack with the advent of new protection shields.
CRPF needs to prepare its strategy for neutralising mines before patrolling in infested areas for better security of its personnel. Sources informed that the VFJ is toiling hard to ensure supply of five components including Run Flat System, Composite Armour, Jackle Armour, Armour Plate and Bullet Proof Glass for starting the production of M-MPVs. Most of these components are unavailable in the country and its import is not financially feasible. The factory proposed a modification in M-MPV for providing hanging sitting arrangements for security personnel but the proposal was discarded due to absence of technology and cost inefficiency. The sacrifice of 25 CRPF personnel in an explosion in Sukma, CRPF expressed the requirement of MPVs and VFJ was given a new production target to meet the requirement.