Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (VRDE)

Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (VRDE)

Historical Background

The history of Vehicles Research & Development Establishment dates back to 1929, with the inception of ‘Chief Inspectorate of Mechanical Transport (CIMT) at Chaklala (now in Pakistan) in 1947, the Estt was shifted to Ahmednagar and was renamed as Technical Development Establishment [Vehicles], popularly known as TDE [V].

In 1962, the Engineering Wing was separated with the establishment of an independent establishment at Pune, named as R&DE (Engrs). Further in 1965, the activities were bifurcated between ‘R&D’ and ‘Inspection’ and two separate establishments viz. Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (VRDE) and Controllerate of Inspection Vehicles (CIV), (now known as Controllerate of Quality Assurance Vehicles (CQAV), came into existence.

A detachment of VRDE was created at Avadi, Madras in 1966, to assist in a production of tanks at Heavy Vehicle Factory, Avadi and to undertake new task of design and development of ‘A’ vehicles. In Dec 1971 the bifurcation of activities of VRDE to deal exclusively in the area of tracked and wheeled vehicles to place with the portion at Avadi, assuming the name of CVRDE to deal with the ‘A’ vehicles and portion at Ahmednagar retained the existing name of VRDE to deal with wheeled vehicles.

Starting with simple task of design modification and technical evaluation of vehicle, VRDE has graduated over the years for undertaking innovative development of total vehicles like 0.5 t 4X4, 2.5 t 4X4, 5/ 7 t 6X6/ 6X4 GS vehicles, incorporating latest technologies. During the years most modern test facilities and infrastructure comprising of a test tracks and system laboratories for testing and evaluation of both Army and Civilian vehicles were created.

In the year 1985 VRDE was also assigned the task of dealing with the design and development of light tracked vehicles up to 25 t GVW. The vehicle testing facility known as NCAT (National Centre for Automotive Testing) has also been graduated to testing of vehicles as per national and international standard.

Today VRDE is capable to design and develop light wheeled & tracked vehicles indigenously along with system design. The NCAT has various supporting infrastructure to provide a one-stop solution to the requirements of Indian Automotive Industry and Defence Forces to test and evaluate the vehicles.

Vision Statement
VRDE will get transformed into a Centre of Excellence in the area of Light Tracked, Wheeled & Specialist Vehicles to provide indigenous solutions to Armed Forces for the Mobility of their Weapons & Equipment. Make the NCAT, “National Centre for Automotive Testing” a World Class test facility to provide Total Solution to Defence & Automotive Industry for all their homologation & developmental testing needs.

Mission Statement
Design, development & productionisation of Futuristic Infantry Combat vehicle.
Design and development of basic Light Armoured Wheeled platform and family of such vehicles for different missions.
Design & development of high specific output light weight engines (reciprocating and rotary) for RPVs.
Development of remotely piloted and autonomous mobile platforms.
Design, development & productionisation of smart mobile expandable and self-deployable shelters.
Competence in following technologies: -
- Thermal management of engines
- Independent suspension
- Hybrid drives
- Automotive controls and instrumentation
- Multi-axle drives and steering
Continuous improvements and augmentation of test facilities and testing techniques at National Centre for Automotive Testing.

Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (VRDE)

Equipments Developed
Containerised Operation Theatre & Wards on Wheels
Armoured Engineering Reconnaissance Vehicle (AERV)
Armoured Amphibious Dozer (AAD)
Mobile Decontamination System
Riot Control Vehicle
Bullet Proof Vehicle
Specialists Vehicles & Trailers for various tactical weapon systems
- Transporting System
- Mobile Isolate Shelter
- Safety Vehicle
- Transport-cum-loader- vehicle (TLV)
Vehicle Platform for Bridge laying system
Shelter for Project Samyukta
Specialist Vehicle for MBRS

ISO Certification
Recognised as an ISO 9001: 2000 establishment by Det Norske Veritas (DNV) with effect from 31 Jul 2004

Containerised Operation Theatre [OT Complex] & Wards on Wheels
A mobile container based, “Operation Theatre Complex” has been designed anddeveloped by VRDE for medical services at forward areas and for disaster management. Each set of OT Complex consists of 11 vehicles like operation theatre container, pre-operative container, post-operative container, sterilization and stores container, ward container, generator vehicle. Two sets have been productionised and handed over to Army.

Armoured Engineer Reconnaissance Vehicle (AERV) on BMP-II
AERV has been designed and developed jointly with R&DE(E), a sister DRDO establishment, as an engineer support vehicle for Corps of Engineer to facilitate land and water recce. Development and user trials have been completed. Ordnance Factory, Medak and BEL, Pune are the production agencies. Production of these vehicles is in progress.

Armoured Amphibious Dozer (AAD) on BMP-II
AAD has been designed and developed jointly with R&DE(E), a sister DRDO establishment, for Engineers of mechanized formations to facilitate battlefield-engineering tasks. Development and user trials have been completed. Army has placed Limited Series Production (LSP) order. Ordnance Factory, Medak is the production agency.

Mobile Decontamination System (MDS)
The system developed on Tatra chassis enables decontamination of personnel, clothing, equipment, vehicles & terrain during war. System accepted by Army, productionisation of MDS through trade is under progress. VRDE will be interim AHSP for the pilot sample.

Riot Control Vehicle ‘Vajra’
Designed and developed for security forces with adequate protection and equipment for carrying out riot control duties effectively. So far 290 Vajra vehicles have been manufactured and supplied to Para Military Forces and Police Organisations under RDR.

Bullet Proof Vehicles
VRDE has designed and developed Bullet Proof Vehicles on Maruti Gypsy, Tata LCV, Mahindra & Mahindra Jeep, Car Ambassador and tractor Swaraj Mazda for use in anti terrorist role by para military forces. These vehicles have been productionised through Indian Industries.

Specialists Vehicles & Trailers For various tactical weapon systems
Various types of Specialist Vehicles designed and developed by VRDE. Some of the vehicles are as follows:
Mechanical Workshop Vehicle
War head Workshop Vehicle
Transport-cum-loader- vehicle
Battery Carrier Vehicle
Auto Crane
Launch Control Vehicle

Vehicle Platform for Bridge Laying Vehicle
Re-engineered Tatra 8x8 vehicle has been modified with dual controls, for mounting of 15 m bridge, LSP is under progress for manufacturing of five sets (25 vehicles).

Shelter for Project Samyukta
Vehicles and shelters were designed and developed as part of Integrated Electronic Warfare Programme (IEWP) for the Army. All the shelters were realised and handed over to DRDL, Hyderabad. The following systems developed on VRDE’s design.

Specialists vehicle for MBRS
Multi Barrel Rocket System (MBRS) is a multi disciplinary project to provide an area weapon to cover long ranges. Loader cum Replenishment Vehicle. (LCRV) and Replenishment Vehicle (RV) are design and developed by VRDE. TOT is under progress.