Home CAR & BIKES Explained: Defence vehicles in India & how to read their number plates

Explained: Defence vehicles in India & how to read their number plates

Explained: Defence vehicles in India & how to read their number plates
Explained: Defence vehicles in India & how to read their number plates

Here is an attempt to summarise what I learnt as this would be interesting for fellow BHPians

BHPian Senna4Ever recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

My niche interest in exploring our defence vehicle registration system was recently re-kindled. Specifically, I took a closer look at the vehicle classification system that our defence vehicles follow and it’s represented by a single alphabet in the registration (i.e. the third character after the broad arrow).

For the bigger picture on the registration of vehicles of the Indian Armed Forces, head over to the Wikipedia link where I have contributed more.

Here is an attempt to summarise what I learnt as this would be interesting for fellow BHPians and more importantly, to get inputs from more knowledgeable members.

Some of this information is readily available on the internet and I had already known:

e.g

A – Two-wheel Vehicle (e.g. motorcycles)

B – Light Motor Vehicle (e.g. passenger cars like the beloved Safari Storme and Gypsy)

C – Truck (< 3 tonnes) (e.g. Tata LPTA 713)

D – Truck (3 – 5 tonnes) (e.g. Ashok Leyland Stallion)

K – Ambulance (irrespective of size)

Now, as I looked/searched a bit more, I came across more photos and classes (i.e. alphabets) which led me to the following conclusions:

E – Multi-Axle 6×6 or 8×8 vehicles e.g. BEML Tatra trucks or Ashok Leyland FAT 6×6

F – Specialist Light Vehicle?

I have only seen one instance on the internet and it was of a Force Motor’s Light Strike Vehicle (LSV)

H – High Mobility Vehicle (HMV) with material handling capability?

I stumbled upon this recently and only found one particular model that carried this classification, TATA LPTA 2038 6×6 which has material handling capability (i.e. attached crane to load/unload goods). So, it’s hard to generalise the whole ‘H’ class.

Here is a bad snapshot from a video.

P – Bus, Fire Truck, Tanker, Recovery Vehicle etc.

Found different kinds of vehicles which carry the ‘P’ classification, seem to be a broad category, e.g.

R – Missile launchers, mine-protected vehicles and radar vehicles?

This is where it gets a bit vague and it seems that vehicle class ‘R’ is more based on vehicle usage rather than the actual kind of vehicle e.g. Missile launchers, Mine-protected vehicles (e.g. OBV MPV) and more. Official classification must be more technical.

X – Armoured or Combat Vehicle

Vehicles which are meant for active usage in the combat field. Obvious examples: tanks and armoured personnel carrier.

Hope it was as interesting to you as it was for me! Cheers!

Continue reading for Part 2 of BHPian Senna4Ever’s post & for more insights and information.

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