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Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV)

9th September, 2023 Security

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  • The Army is seeking to procure 170 Armoured Recovery Vehicles.
  • This move, is a part of the government’s commitment to the ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiatives, stressing self-reliance and indigenous production.
  • The Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) has collaborated with state-owned Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) to manufacture them for the Indian Army.


  • The Army is procuring these Vehicles for both deserts and plains along the country’s western borders as well as in high-altitude and mountainous terrains at eastern Ladakh or north Sikkim.


  • Currently, BEML-built ARVs, based on Russian-made T-72 tank hulls, are in use, armed with a 12.7mm machine gun and equipped with powerful cranes capable of lifting up to 15 tons.
  • Additionally, there are upgraded variants like the WZT-3M, produced in collaboration with Polish company Bumar.
  • These ARVs, also known as ARV-3 in the Indian Army, have proven their worth in recovery operations.
  • These versatile vehicles are designed to recover damaged MBTs, tracked armoured vehicles, and heavy vehicles from the battlefield. They are equipped with tools for minor field repairs and earth-moving projects, enhancing the Army’s self-sufficiency during operations.

Armoured Recovery Vehicle (ARV)

  • An armoured recovery vehicle (ARV) is typically a powerful tank or armoured personnel carrier (APC) chassis modified for use during combat for military vehicle recovery (towing) or repair of battle-damaged, stuck, and/or inoperable armoured fighting vehicles, such as tanks and armoured personnel carriers.
  • Most ARVs have motorized tracks, like a tank or bulldozer, enabling the ARV to operate on uneven ground. The term "Armoured Repair and Recovery Vehicle" (ARRV) is also used.

ARVs that the Army is procuring

  • These Tracked Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARVs) can recover damaged tanks and vehicles from the battlefield.
  • The primary function of these ARVs is to provide repair and recovery cover to disabled Armoured Fighting Vehicles (AFVs) during hostile operations. They will be configured on a tracked chassis, ensuring mobility across different terrains.
  • These ARVs are capable of operating in various terrains, including plain, semi-desert, desert, high altitude, and mountainous areas.
  • These vehicles are essential for recovering tanks and heavy equipment in the event of breakdowns during operations.
  • Given the diverse terrains in which the Army operates, the ARVs need to be versatile enough to function effectively in various environments.
  • The Army has specified that the ARVs should be capable of operating under different weather conditions, both during day and night and in snowy, rainy, dusty and sandy environments.
  • In high altitude and mountainous regions, the ARVs must be able to endure harsh cold temperatures of -20° to -10° Celsius and maximum temperatures of 40° Celsius.
  • Additionally, the engine of the ARV should be able to start in extremely cold temperatures.
  • It should also have the capacity to carry utility equipment such as a crane, dozer, winches, general tools, special maintenance tools, and ancillary equipment required for repair and recovery operations.
  • Furthermore, it should be capable of being transported by existing tank transporter vehicles, IAF transport aircraft, and military bogeys on broad-gauge railways.
  • For self-defence, the vehicle will be equipped with a Remote-Controlled Weapon Station (RCWS) featuring a 12.7 mm anti-aircraft machine gun and smoke grenade launcher.
  • The service life of these ARVs is expected to be a minimum of 32 years, with the possibility of one major overhaul or repair intervention. They must also be transportable through various means, including existing in-service tank transporter vehicles of the Indian Army, transport aircraft of the Indian Air Force, and broad-gauge railway military bogeys.
  • These ARVs are crucial components in the maintenance and support of Main Battle Tanks (MBTs) like the ‘Arjun.’ They facilitate efficient and speedy repair and recovery operations during combat situations.


  • These ARVs will play a crucial role in ensuring the operational readiness of the Indian Army, particularly in challenging terrain and weather conditions.
  • In conclusion, the procurement of Armoured Recovery Vehicles marks a pivotal step in enhancing India’s defence capabilities. These vehicles will provide invaluable support to the Indian Army, ensuring the swift recovery and repair of combat assets under challenging conditions.
  • The ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ initiatives continue to drive self-sufficiency and innovation in India.


Q. Over the years, India has made substantial investments in Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARVs). ARVs can play a crucial role in ensuring the operational readiness of Defence, particularly in challenging terrain and weather conditions, and enhance India’s defence capabilities.