Tatra All-Terrain Vehicles, India
Tatra all-terrain vehicles are used for various purposes such as transporting personnel, tanks and missiles, and come in different configurations. The vehicle was developed by Tatra a.s., a vehicle manufacturer based in Czech Republic.
Tatra vehicles are supplied in India by BEML, an Indian company based in Bangalore, the capital city of the state of Karnataka. Formerly known as Bharat Earth Movers Limited, BEML is a major public sector company, which – in joint collaboration with Tatra Vectra Motors Limited – supplies defence materiel in India. Tatra Vectra Motors is a joint venture between Tatra a.s. and UK-based Vectra Group.
In India, BEML produces Tatra T-815, T-816 and Hemang dumpers. Tatra T815 and Hemang dumpers are being used successfully in construction and mining sectors, running through rough terrains.
The Tatra vehicles manufactured in India by BEML can be broadly categorised into two versions – vehicles with non European emission standards (Euro) and vehicles that meet Bharat Stage – II (Euro II) standards.
All these variants are heavy duty trucks and are used by the defence forces for different purposes.
Tatra all-terrain vehicle features / design
The Tatra vehicles have high-operational flexibility as well as functional adaptability. They have been extensively deployed for several all-terrain programmes and are highly mobile and reliable, and capable of managing cross-country terrain.
Tatra vehicles in the T815 series make use of the Tatra independent suspension system, which enables the vehicle to travel in difficult terrains.
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Tatra vehicle orders and deliveries
The Indian Ministry of Defence ordered a total of 788 Tatra vehicles from BEML on 18 March 2010. The order is worth an estimated INR6.32bn ($141m) and consists of the supply of three variants of the Tatra vehicles to the Indian Army.
The order includes 498 units of 8x8, 278 units of 6x6 (with winch) and 12 units of 6x6 (without winch) vehicles. An amount of INR3.15bn ($70.5m), equalling half of the total order value, has already been paid by the ministry. The scheduled delivery period for the vehicles was set as 18 months.
Tatra vehicle mission variants
BEML produces many variants of the Tatra vehicle in India. The T815 series, in particular, has several mission variants, and comes in 4x4, 6x6 and 8x8 configurations.
The variants include BEML-TATRA crash fire tender (functioning like a fire engine), Prithvi missile (transporter cum missile launcher), oxidiser Carrier, warhead carrier, fuel carrier vehicle, missile transporter, 10t mobile crane, ammunition loader, pontoon truck (carry pontoons, helps in deployment of pontoon bridge set) and truck mounted crane.
In addition, Tatra T815 vehicles are configured as recovery vehicles and are available in three configurations, namely heavy recovery vehicle, medium recovery vehicle and light recovery vehicle.
The Tatra T815 VTI variant can carry payloads up to 10t and its functions include carrying battle tanks as well as personnel. Another configuration of Tatra vehicles according to the chassis includes WN, WNC and WL variants. These variants are used for various missions, including missile programmes, radar-carrying vehicles and also as bridge-laying systems.
The T816 comes in a 10x10 configuration with an antilock braking system (ABS). The payload capacity of the vehicle is 19,900kg, which makes the vehicle apt for carrying long loads such as missiles.
The T-815 chassis is used to mount different structures and create other variants for different purposes. Superstructures such as cranes and transit mixers can be mounted.
Tatra T815 engine / propulsion
The Tatra T815 vehicles are powered by a single T 3-B or T 3-C engine manufactured by Tatra Vectra Motors Limited (TVML). The Tetra variants carry different variants of the T 3-B engine, including T3B–928–30, T3B–928–10, T3B-928–40 and T3B–928–70.
The T 3-B / T 3-C series of engines are air-cooled, four stroke turbo-charged engines. T3B–928–10 and T3B– 928–40 comply with Euro I emission norms while T3B–928–70 complies with Euro II norms. The engines are available in the range of 235hp to 368hp at 1,500rpm.
The transmission of the engine is of the synchromesh type. It features ten forward and two reverse gears with shifting being manual and mechanical. The maximum speed of the vehicle varies between 80km/h and 90km/h, depending on the engine used.
The Tatra T816 is powered by the ISM440E20 engine manufactured by US-based Cummins Southern Plains. The engine is turbocharged / aftercooled and has an inline six-cylinder configuration. It features automatic transmission, one reverse and six forward gears, and is electronically controlled. The engine complies with Bharat Stage – II (Euro II) emission norms.