TATA has started deliveries of the first batch of WhAP (Kestrel) 8 x 8 Armored vehicles to the Central Reserve Police Force, most probably ITBP.
Recently a video circulated by military fans on social media shows that TATA and DRDO jointly developed WhAP (Wheeled Armored Amphibious Platform) Kestrel armored vehicle roll out from TATA Pimpri, Pune Plant.
Total three WhAP can be seen coming of TATA facility. By looking at the camo the new vehicle could be for ITBP (Indo-Tibetan Border Police) and can be use in Ladakh area.
The new vehicle include firing ports Casspir MPV, albeit armoured driver’s station. Small Caliber remote weapon system. But there are no Pump jet found for amphibious operation. So this might be a version meant for COIN, though colour scheme indicates desert use and high altitude area like Ladakh.
The Tata Kestrel is often compared to the Humvee and the Stryker IFV, which may prove to be good material for an academic debate. But deal-breaker is the price, and since the Kestrel/WhAP are made in India, costs will be much lower than competitors. A 2017 article pegged the price at INR 23 crore, while the Stryker costs INR 45 crore per unit.
The Kestrel was jointly developed by Tata, DRDO and UK-based defense firm Supacat, and saw the light of day at the 2014 Defexpo.
In the 2016 Defexpo, it was seen with a BMP-2 turret, and it was renamed to the WhAP (Wheeled Armored Platform)
It has 8×8, meaning 8-wheel drive, which is two four-wheel-drives glued together, to provide maximum mobility in tight surfaces.