The Kestrel 8×8 armored personnel carrier was developed in India by Tata Motors and DRDO.
Kestrel – Future Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICV), It is also referred as Wheeled Armored Amphibious Platform (WAMP)
Design of the Kestrel is similar to modern Western armored vehicle of this class. Engine is located at the forward part of the hull while troop compartment is to the rear.
Features of Kestrel – Future Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICV)
- The Kestrel is intended to operate in the frontline, carrying soldiers into the battle zone. It has adequate protection and firepower.
- This new Indian armored vehicle has an all-welded hull. Seats are attached to the roof for improved blast protection. Fuel tank are placed outside the troop compartment for additional safety.
- A prototype that was revealed in 2014 also had a remotely controlled weapon station with 12.7 mm machine gun and one more Javelin launcher. It was mounted on top of the turret roof.
- This new Indian armored personnel carrier has a crew of three and carried 9 fully-equipped troops. It has been reported that troops are seated back-to-back. Infantrymen egress and dismount via rear power-operated ramp. Also there are roof-hatches for emergency exit. Troops are provided with firing ports and associated vision blocks to fire their individual weapons.
- The Kestrel has high power-to-weight ratio for mountainous terrain.
- It is powered by a Cummins turbocharged diesel engine, developing 600 hp. This engine is license-produced in India by Tata Motors.
- Engine is located at the forward part of the hull.
- Vehicle has a hydropneumatic suspension.
- The Kestrel is fitted with a central tyre inflation systems and run-flat tyres.
- It has a maximum capacity to carry 12 soldiers. It can carry up to 10 troops and a crew of two.
- The amphibious propulsion employs rear mounted waterjet which does not require preparation before entering into water.
- The crew compartment is protected to Stanag I to Stanag IV level, depending on the application.
- The monocoque is comprised of welded armor steel hull with armor applique and inner composite spall liner.
- The protection modules can be replaced in the field, increasing or decreasing protection level per mission requirement. The belly has a blast guard withstanding blasts up to STANAG III level.
- The vehicle is equipped with NBC protection and filtering for uninterrupted operation under CBRN conditions.
- This armored personnel carrier is fully amphibious. On water it is propelled by two waterjets.
Highlights of Kestrel – Future Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICV)
While KESTREL has amphibious capabilities, at the same time it has been designed for being used in various missions also…so it is based on the platform concept and from the same platform, you can conduct various mission specific drills at the same time.
The biggest strength of the Kestral platform is that it is scalable, modular and upgradeable. For instance, the same vehicle can be used for different uses— the same can be used as an ambulance with little modification as also a missiles carrier, launcher and all those various operations like a CBRN Vehicles can be used from the same platform. Again, it has state of the art hydro-pneumatic suspension that gives this vehicle the power it has.
The entire power pack is designed in India, the under chassis drive mine of this vehicle is also designed in India. Another thing that I can mention is that this system has been offered with a firing port, typically these vehicles will not have the firing port according to international specifications but Indian Army wanted this vehicle with firing port so we built it.