New Delhi: An indigenous light armoured vehicle designed keeping in mind the operational requirements of the police and paramilitary forces was launched at the ongoing homeland security exhibition here on Monday.
Based on the Ford Endeavour SUV, the Sherpa has been developed by Shri Lakshmi Defence Solutions Ltd (SLDS) in a joint programme with Ford India.
"The 2+6 seater vehicle with maximum speed of 160 kmph is an ideal force multiplier in the war against Naxals (Maoists) and terrorists, even in an urban scenario, especially for command vehicle operations," an SLDS statement said.
"The Ford Endeavour`s chassis, with one of the highest ground clearance and largest wheelbase in its class, was a clear winner for modification as a light armoured vehicle. With its unique safety features and rigidity of frame, the vehicle can tackle any terrain and prove useful as a force multiplier for homeland security," the statement added.
According to SLDS director Anil Kumar Verma, the Sherpa has been designed "to aid the security forces in counter-insurgency and anti-Maoist operations and to enhance their combat efficiency".
Speaking at the launch, Nigel Wark, executive director (Marketing, Sales and Service) of Ford India, said: "The Endeavour, with its superior build quality, durability and powerful transmission, can prove to be a reliable vehicle in all types of terrain and will match gruelling operational requirements."
SLDS already produces a range of security-related vehicles including the Viper fast-moving attack vehicle, the Dhruv armoured troop carrier and the Drona blast and mine protection vehicle.
The company`s parent, Shri Lakshmi Cotsyn Ltd, has been supplying safety textiles such as bio-chemical, high altitude fabric, bullet-proof jackets and bullet-proof helmets, camouflage fabrics, uniform fabric, IR fabric and carbon fabric to Indian defence establishments.