The Indian Army has inducted an Armored Engineer Reconnaissance Vehicle (AERV), developed by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and manufactured by Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL).
The AERV, with about 90% of its components manufactured indigenously, is a versatile amphibious Infantry combat vehicle fitted with instruments for water and land reconnaissance, along with navigation and data backup facilities.
“The first set of indigenously developed next generation Armoured Engineer Reconnaissance Vehicle was inducted into the Corps of Engineers of Indian Army in a solemn function attended by Gen MM Naravane, the Chief of Army Staff at Pune on Tuesday,” the Defence Ministry said in a statement.
The Army said that the AERV is capable of measuring soil bearing capacity of riverbanks to determine if they are motorable for military vehicles, which can be critical parameters for bridge laying, as well as measure dry and wet gaps, slopes and heights of river banks/canals.
The AERV can be navigated using a military grid co-ordination system, while it can measure and plot underwater beds and water currents of rivers and canals. The induction of the AERVs is expected to boost the Indian Army’s combat capabilities.
The vehicle does not have a gun for defence but is fitted with specialised equipment, including the likes of an echo-sounder, water current meter, GPS and a laser range finder, among others.
The details with regards to the total number of vehicles in service and the regiment it will serve under remain classified.