The RFI document specifies that 12 vehicles need to be supplied to Nimu in Ladakh and six to Bhuj in Gujarat. This shows that the Army wishes to use these vehicles in the snow-bound areas of Ladakh and in the marshy terrain of the Rann of Kutch.
As per the specifications in the RFI, the vehicle should be able to perform at heights of 18,000 feet in glaciated and snow-bound conditions and in salty/dry marshes. They should be able to seat 10 soldiers with full combat load (excluding the crew) and should have in-built ballistic protection. It should have an operating range of not less than 150 km in cross-country terrain in plains and at an altitude of 15,000 to 18,000 feet in the mountains. The vehicles should have a service life of at least 15 years.
Hägglunds BV206 is the most widely known but becomes an aging vehicle. BAE Systems’ BVs10 Beowulf might be a relevant contender. Beowulf is based on the BvS10, which has already been produced, including recent on-time deliveries to Austria. Multiple variants of the vehicle are already operating in five countries, first going into service with the U.K. Royal Marines in 2005. Leveraging the BvS10 means the Beowulf design is already established and ready for production. Beowulf also benefits from efficient lifecycle management and routine maintenance and sustainment costs by using common components in the BvS10.
The Beowulf and BvS10s are built by BAE Systems Hägglunds in Örnsköldsvik, Sweden, and include several key components from U.S. suppliers, such as their engine, transmission, and hydraulic system.