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The Central Reserve Police Force (CRPF) is contemplating a larger order for the sophisticated Wheeled Armoured Amphibious Platform (WhAP) vehicles after witnessing their impressive performance in Kashmir. These advanced 8×8 vehicles, capable of operating both on land and in marshy areas or streams using water jets, were inducted last year and have proven to be a valuable asset in anti-terror operations.

The WhAP vehicles, also known as TATA Kestrel, have been jointly developed by TATA Motors and the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Designed to carry 12 equipped soldiers, including the driver, these vehicles are built to provide high mobility and enhanced protection in diverse terrains and combat scenarios.

An official from the CRPF, deployed in Kashmir and speaking on condition of anonymity, shared with the idrw team that the WhAP has performed exceptionally well in the region. The official emphasized that the vehicle’s capabilities have significantly contributed to the effectiveness of anti-terror operations. Given the positive feedback, there is a strong recommendation for the induction of more WhAPs across other battalions in the valley, which currently hosts around 60 battalions.

The successful deployment and operational effectiveness of the WhAP in Kashmir underscore its potential as a game-changer for the CRPF. The vehicle’s ability to navigate challenging terrains and provide robust protection aligns with the strategic needs of the forces operating in conflict-prone and geographically diverse areas. The potential expansion of the WhAP fleet indicates a shift towards modernizing the CRPF’s mobility and combat capabilities, ensuring better preparedness and response to various security challenges.

TATA Kestrel is a versatile vehicle equipped with several features tailored for high-stakes operations:

  • Capacity and Speed: It can transport 12 jawans and reach a top speed of 100 km/h.
  • Protection: The 25-ton vehicle is outfitted with anti-blast seats and offers protection against land mines, making it suitable for high-altitude operations.
  • Amphibious Capabilities: The WhAP can traverse water streams, propelled by hydro jets located on its rear sides, enhancing its operational range and flexibility.