The first batch of Ambulance Armoured Tracked Vehicles to be used by the Indian Army to evacuate casualties from the battlefield was rolled out at the Ordnance Factory here on Friday.

Designed by the Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment , a branch of the Defence Research and Development Organisation, and manufactured at the Ordnance Factory, Medak, the armoured ambulance is equipped to administer emergency medical care to battle casualties . It has in-built medical facilities including a continuous ECG monitoring, a ventilator, a suction unit to remove unwanted fluids, a DC refrigerator for preserving drugs and an air-conditioner with optional heating facility .

With the same mobility as an Infantry Combat Vehicle , the ambulance can cross a variety of terrains and even traverse through water. Features include a special blower and absorbent filter for nuclear, biological and chemical protection, and external and internal radio communication for navigation.

The seating capacity of 10 plus two includes medical attendants, but this can vary depending on the number of stretcher patients. Four stretcher patients, or two stretcher and four sitting patients, or eight sitting patients can be accommodated at a time.

Although the first model was ready in December 2005, it had to undergo several changes before a trial in September 2006. Three years and 56 modifications later, 10 vehicles were rolled out ready to be used by the Indian Army.

The Army has already ordered 288 armoured tracked ambulances. So far however, the Ordnance Factory has assembled only 50 such ambulances so that the army can recommend further changes, once the vehicles have been used in combat operations.

“You will get such large orders from the Indian army in the future that your machines will be running for the next 15 years,” Lieutenant General Duleep Bhardwaj, Director General Mechanised Forces said. He was there to receive the first ambulance on behalf of the Chief of Staff. Saroj Vinayek, Director General and Chairperson, Ordnance Factories Board was the chief guest .

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