Indian firm designs armoured car for hotel corridors
A mini armoured car, designed for use in confined spaces like airports, hotels or stadiums and inspired by the trauma of the 2008 Mumbai attacks, drew admirers at an Indian arms fair Wednesday.
The battery-operated Anti-Terrorist Assault Cart (ATAC), which resembles a bullet-proof golf buggy with attitude, is built to carry two fully-armed security personnel along narrow corridors.
Its manufacturer, Metaltech Motor Bodies Pvt Ltd, said it had been designed in the wake of the Mumbai carnage, in which Islamist gunmen holed up in two luxury hotels held Indian commandos at bay for 60 hours.
Seventeen security personnel lost their lives in the attacks, which left a total of 166 people dead.
"It's a product of our sense of helplessness over the casualties we took in the attacks," said managing director J.B. Sehrawat.
"We put our heads and hearts together and came up with the ATAC," he said.
The two-million rupee (45,000-dollar) vehicle, which weighs in at just under half a tonne, can prowl around corridors and fit into service elevators either to "extract civilians or engage terrorists", Sehrawat said.
Dotted with four firing ports, the squat, heavily armoured vehicle with bullet-proof windows can withstand grenade blasts and last for six hours on a single charge with a top speed of 25 kilometres (15 miles) an hour.
The company said it was offering the prototype for trials with the sponsors of the Commonwealth Games to be held in November in New Delhi and to India's elite National Security Guards.
"Given the growing threats, we need nano engineering such as the ATAC," said Metaltech vice president, S.W. Thatte.
The prototype drew applause from visitors as well as Indian military scientists attending the arms fair in the Indian capital.
"It is a great concept as compact combat units are the need of the day," said K.J. Rao, a spokesman of India's Defence Research and Development Organisation.
(c) 2010 AFP