Indian Army

Mahindra Defence ‘Armado’ – An In-Depth Analysis

Indigenously developed and manufactured by the subsidiary of Mahindra & Mahindra, Mahindra Defence Systems (MDS), the Armoured Light Specialist Vehicle (ALSV), nicknamed as the ‘Armado’ ia a modular light armoured specialist vehicle primarily built for Indian Army and Indian Special Forces units. In 2021 Mahindra Defence bagged the deal worth INR 1056 crore for 1300 Armados for Indian Army for military personnel transit, recce and weapons carrier. Two years later, its June 2023 and Mahindra Defence have just started begun the delivery of this vehicle to the Indian Army. So let’s see what’s the deal about this indigenous monster-on-wheels Indian Army is cooking.

Technical specifications

Engine & Transmission – The Armado is powered by a 3.2 litre, inline 6-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine and is capable of producing 215 horsepowers. It will give a well-optimized performance across different terrains from rugged lands to high-altitude performance. This turbocharger can produce a maximum torque of 500 Nm and has good climbing and off-road capabilities. It has a 4-speed automatic transmission, designed for heavy-duty gear-shifting.

Suspension – It features Bilstein Independent Front Suspension (IFS) for front wheels and Independent Rear Suspension (IRS) for the rear wheels which offers each wheel on the same axle to move independently of the others. Employing controls arms, coil springs and shock absorbers for each wheels, these independent suspension systems eliminate opposite wheel-position dependency, maintains better tire contact with the ground, improved traction, stability, and reduced chassis-roll and enhanced off-road performance. It also portrays a double wishbone axle design.

Brakes – The Armado is fitted with Heavy-Duty brakes on all four wheels foe increased stopping power, durability, reliability, brake heat dissipation along with enhanced off-road capability.

Fuel – Although this vehicle is meant to primarily run on regular fuels, it can also work on NATO fuels – F-54 and F-34 (JP-8), which is one of the standard-issue ground military vehicle fuel that offers long shelf life and high contamination resistance.

Steering – It uses Left Hand Drive/Right Hand Drive Power Steering which uses hydraulic/electric power to reduce the effort required by the driver to steer the vehicle particularly in low speeds or during making tight turns.

Tires – Armados’ 318/80 R17 tires give it good ground clearance for obstacle clearing, improved traction and increased load capacity and durability. Moreover, it comes with a Tire Inflation System – a specialized system which allows the adjustment of the tire pressure while in motion. It features a centralized control system that allows the operator to monitor and adjust tire pressures through the equipped sensors in real-time. It typically results in two modes – Inflation (increases tire pressure) and Deflation (decreases tire pressure). These can be used as and when demanded by the scenarios and result in better ride comfort and situational adaptability.

Speed – The Armado can achieve a maximum speed of 120 km/h with an acceleration of 0-60km/h in 12s.

Roles – The ALSV is apt for mission profiles such as Counter terrorist operations and patrolling in high intensity areas, special forces transit aid, Quick Reaction Forces, weapons payload carrier, Off-road/desert terrain raids, reconnaissance and border security.

Also Read, How Much of a Threat is The Chinese J-20 to India?

Armour Protection

The Armado provides STANAF Level 1 Ballistics protection in all dimensions of the vehicle but it can be upgraded to STANAG -II Ballistics. Its ballistic protection capability is equivalent to the NATO AEP-55 STANAG Protection, which is a minimum standard-issue ballistic armored protection covering the standards for “Protection Levels for Occupants of Logistic and Light Armored Vehicles” according to NATO Standardization Agreement standards. It will give complete protection to the inside troops against incoming fire of 7.62x51mm NATO, 7.62x39mm, 5.56x45mm NATO cartridges at upto 940 m/s muzzle velocity.

Frag grenades explosion, artillery fragmenting submunitions and other small anti-personnel explosive devices detonated under the vehicle will also not affect the safety of inside personnel. It is also expected to have medium-good protection 20mm large fragmentation artillery rounds at upto 520m/s.

Mine explosion impact testing of a NATO vehicle STANAG armour

The Armado features a multi-layered ballistic layer glass which provides protection upto STANAG-II ballistics and will stop any Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) rounds of standard issue of assault/battle rifles. It is also designed to prevent from spalling, which is the fragmentation of glass that can injure the occupants in the event of a heavy bullet impact. It is made of several layers of polycarbonate, glass and plastics with classified materials of specially bonding adhesives which evenly distributes the force of a bullet impact across the surface of the glass.

If upgraded to STANAG-II Ballistic armour, the Armado will be fully immune to 7.62×39 Armoured Piercing Incendiary (API) rounds and Blast Mines with 6kg explosive payload detonated under the vehicle. They are made up of steel, kevlar, synthetic aramid fibre and polycarbonates for efficient heat-resistance, shatter-resistance and blast damage reduction. However, both the default and upgraded armour variants will be completely vulnerable to incoming 50-calibre anti-material rounds.

Additional features

Weapons mount – The Armado has the facility of a rotatable, roof turret-mounted weapon which can be a 12.7mm heavy machine gun (360 degrees), automatic 40mm grenade launcher (360 degrees) or a 7.62mm general purpose machine gun (180 degrees) all of which are very effective in close-range vehicles and enemy personnel.

Radio Comms – The Armado is fitted with High Frequency (HF)/Very High Frequency (VHF)/ Ultra High Frequency (UHF) which can operate from 3Mhz to 3000 Mhz and the coordinate communications can even penetrate very-long distances or over-the-horizon targets. This feature is extremely important for command and control communications between the command posts and field units, coordination of supplies and personnel logistics, monitoring surveillance activity and battlefield action coordination.

It comes with Detachable and Adjustable Modular Racks which help in fitting and adjusted carriage of specific weapons and can accommodate various types of military equipment. They can withstand vibrations, shock and impact and are typically made of lightweight materials such as aluminium or plastic.

Self-cleaning Exhaust Scavenging and Air Filtration System – It is a system designed to remove exhaust gases and particulate matter from the air in an efficient and automated manner. The exhaust scavenging component of the system is responsible for removing and redirecting exhaust gases away from the vehicle and its occupants. It typically involves the use of a series of exhaust pipes, mufflers, and vents strategically positioned to direct the exhaust gases away from sensitive areas. The self-cleaning aspect of the system refers to its ability to automatically remove or reduce any build-up of soot, debris, or other contaminants in the exhaust system. This is achieved through various mechanisms such as exhaust heat, pressure differentials, or exhaust gas circulation, which help prevent blockages and maintain the proper functioning of the exhaust system. Military vehicles often operate in dusty, sandy, or polluted environments, and having a self-cleaning-type exhaust scavenging and air filtration system is crucial for maintaining engine efficiency, reducing maintenance requirements, and ensuring the well-being of the vehicle occupants.

How Does The ALSV Come Into Play For Indian Military ?

When it comes to reliable military personnel carrying vehicle with high expectations of exceptional incoming fire and blast resistance, off-road capability, durability etc. bigshot names like USA’s Humvees and Oshkosh-M ATV or Russia’s Tigr will probably come into the mind of a military enthusiast. But given the vast combat experience these wheels have had in the history, it’s a pointless debate as the Armado is just a toddler crawling with its raw paint from the facility while India is just a small name in this game. But what stands out is the immense growth potential which the Armado comes with for the future of Indian military.

US Army Humvees

Joining Ranks – The Armado will be joining the Indian Army fleet alongside the fewer TATA Kestrel, South African-origin Casspir, OFB Aditya MRAP, Kalyani M4 MRAP (Mine Protected Ambush Protected), light armoured Mahindra Marksman and is currently in the process of replacing the previous Mahindra Rakshak light utility vehicle.

Indigenous prowess – It is India’s first completely indigenously developed armoured specialist vehicle. Mahindra Defence sure has reached a landmark moment once the first wheels set rolling and it has demonstrated the country’s growing technooical and manufacturing capabilities in military transit.

Versatility – It is a highly versatile vehicle that can be used for a variety of missions, including peacekeeping, disaster relief, and combat operations. It is also capable of being airlifted, which gives the Indian military a significant strategic advantage. C-130 Super Hercules, C-17 Globemaster-III, and Il-76 have the capability to airlift the Armado in case of any military demand or disaster aversion event.

Operational capabilities – It will improve the operational capabilities of the Indian military. This will make the military more effective in responding to a variety of threats, and it will help to protect India’s national security. With high mobility and good intermediate protection, it acts as a perfect seat for Indian Army and Quick Reaction Forces for apt response.

Boosts self-reliance – The introduction of the ALSV into the Indian military will boost the country’s self-reliance in the defense sector. This is a major strategic objective for India, and the Armado is a significant step in the right direction.

Reliable and affordable – The ALSV is a reliable and affordable vehicle that is well-suited for the Indian military’s needs. It is also backed by Mahindra Defence’s strong track record of providing quality products and services.

Increases exports – The ALSV has the potential to be exported to other countries. This would generate foreign revenue for India, and it would help to promote the country’s defense industry and indigenously-capable export ability. Moreover, Mahindra Defence’s Armado has stood up to a centrepoint of pride for Indian military.


Subhodip Das

An Average Mechanical Engineering student from Jadavpur University, Kolkata who dreams of having a fully customized AR-15 draped on the wall....very childish ain't it ! Well apart from that, Art is the one absolute thing I practically live for.

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