Kalyani Group Forays Into Armoured Vehicles With M4

Atul Chandra
28 Oct 2023
09:00 AM
3 Min Read

With additional orders from the Indian armed forces and a growing partnership with Paramount Group, Bharat Forge is eyeing a presence as a global manufacturing hub for ICVs.


Bharat Forge Limited (BFL), the flagship company of the $3 billion Kalyani Group and Kalyani Strategic Systems Limited (KSSL) are broadening their partnership with Paramount Group to include development and production of 4x4 and 6x6 Infantry Combat Vehicles (ICV) for customers around the world. KSSL is a 100% subsidiary of BFL.

Originally formed in South Africa in 1994, Paramount is now headquartered in Abu Dhabi. At the DSEI 2023 defence exhibition held last September in London, the group announced that it would look to increase global armoured vehicle development and production through an India-based manufacturing hub geared for export market in partnership with BFL.

Paramount Global CEO Steve Griessel added that the company’s partnership with Kalyani Strategic Systems had become ever more strategic and the UAE-based group would broaden its partnership to include the development and production of 4x4 and 6x6 ICVs for customers around the world.

Neelesh Tungar, President - Defence, BFL, said the continuing and growing partnership with Paramount substantiates the fact that the world considers India ready to be “the manufacturing capital” for the global defence industry.

Growing Partnership

Paramount Group and BFL, first announced their collaboration in February 2021, when a cooperation agreement was signed by both companies during the International Defence Expo (IDEX 2021) held in Abu Dhabi. The collaboration brought together the manufacturing and technology excellence of these two leading companies. Prior to being selected by the Indian Army, the Kalyani M4 successfully completed a series of extreme vehicle trials in some of the toughest environments in India.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) placed an order with BFL in February 2021 for emergency procurement of the Kalyani M4 armoured vehicle in an order worth INR 177.85 crore and has since gone on to place additional orders. The Kalyani M4 is a Quick Reaction Fighting Vehicle presently being manufactured in India to meet the needs of the Indian Army.

It is also known as the Monocoque Hull Multi Role Mine Protected Armoured Vehicle within the Indian Army and was formally inducted into service in Pune in April 2022 by the then Chief of the Army Staff (COAS), General MM Naravane, accompanied by Lt Gen Manoj Pande (who is the present COAS). The armoured vehicle became operational with the Indian Army’s Northern Command in 2022 and in October 2022, BFL announced that it had dispatched 16 Made-In-India Kalyani M4 vehicles to the Indian Army for a United Nations Peacekeeping deployment.

Speaking about the performance of the company in FY 2022, B N ‘Baba’ Kalyani, Chairman and Managing Director, Kalyani Group, said they were getting repeat orders for armoured personnel vehicles from the Indian Army, in addition to recently supplied vehicles. BFL had also stated earlier, that it was looking to increase its production capacity for the M4 to 100 vehicles annually.


NewGen Armoured Vehicle

The Kalyani M4 is based on Paramount’s Mbombe 4 armoured vehicle which has seen international success in a number of markets. The Mbombe 4 made its debut at IDEX 2019 in Abu Dhabi, after which, it generated significant levels of interest from armed forces demanding next-generation survivability, mobility and toughness. It is in production in Africa and Asia, with more than 150 vehicles either being manufactured or on order for global delivery or deployment.

The Kalyani M4 was adapted specifically for in-country production in India and features specific modifications made to incorporate the requirements of the Indian Army, offering quick mobility in rough terrain and in areas affected by mines and Improvised Explosive Device (IED) threats. The cost of each vehicle could be about INR 5 crore and it offers ballistic and blast protection - up to 50kg TNT side blast or IED/roadside bombs due to its innovative design, which features a flat-floor monocoque hull.

With a kerb weight of 13.3 tonne, it can carry a total payload of 2.5 tonne, can seat 10 and is powered by a 450 bhp engine, which propels the vehicle up to 140 kmphr. It has an operating range of 800 km. It also has the ability able to scale gradients at a 60% incline with a fording depth of up to 900 mm. A rear-door ramp design allows for rapid deployment of the crew while the vehicle is static or on the move. The vehicle can also be integrated with Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) and machine guns.

Model Portfolio

Paramount Group’s advanced Mbombe family of combat vehicles, features the Mbombe 8x8, which is now in production following its launch in 2016, the in-service Mbombe 6x6 and the smaller Mbombe 4x4. The entire Mbombe family of armoured vehicles share a commonality of 80% in technologies and components.

Last September Paramount announced that its Mbombe 6, an advanced 6x6 ICV, had now been ordered by national defence forces in Latin America and in the Southern African Development Community (SADEC). In August 2022, Thailand also opted to produce the Mbombe 4, where it is known as the D-Lion combat vehicle. The group also offers a special regional variant, called the Mbombe 4 ‘S’, which is optimised for operations in harsh desert conditions.

Paramount currently trades in 25 countries and has built defence capabilities on every continent of the globe. Moreover, it has an established track record of creating independent, indigenous defence industrial capability for Governments through licensing its IPs that have been developed over 29 years, transferring technology to them, and implementing quick remote manufacturing in their respective countries.

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