The first batch of next-generation Armoured Engineer Reconnaissance Vehicles (AERV), indigenously designed and developed by DRDO and manufactured by the Pune Unit of Navratna Defence PSU Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), was formally inducted into Indian Army by Gen Manoj Mukund Naravane, Chief of Army Staff, on 21 December 2021.
The vehicles were inducted into the Corps of Engineers at a ceremony held at Bombay Engineering Group (BEG), Pune, in the presence of Director (Finance), BEL; Dinesh Batra, Engineer-in-Chief; Lt Gen Harpal Singh, GOC-in-C, Southern Command; Lt Gen J S Nain, Director General (Combat Engineers); Maj Gen Sanjay Rehani, Brig Comb Engrs (B), Brig Sanjay Mathur and other senior officers.
AERV is manufactured by BEL-Pune with more than 90 percent indigenous content. It is a versatile BMP-IIK amphibious Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV) fitted with instruments for water reconnaissance, land reconnaissance, navigation, and data backup. The AERV is capable of measuring soil bearing capacity on riverbanks to determine if they are motorable for military vehicles on Go-No Go basis (critical parameters for bridge laying), dry and wet gaps in day and night conditions, slopes, and height of riverbanks/canals. It’s possible to navigate the AERV with military maps using Military Grid Co-ordinate System, measure and plot underwater beds and water currents of rivers/canals, store data from various instruments on Control Console for further analysis and decision-making.