A Slovakian firm, Unimpex s.r.o., Martin, supplied 35 VT-72B ARVs to the Indian Army in 1994 at a reported cost of $32 million or a unit cost of $1.09 million. Another deal for 45 VT-72B ARVs, at a reported unit cost of $2 million per vehicle, amounting to a total cost of $90 million, was signed in 1997. In February 2000, Bharat Heavy Electrical Ltd. (BHEL) signed a technical agreement with Unimpex for licensed production of the VT-72B ARV in India, to meet the Indian Army's requirement for 400 additional ARVs. The agreement includes providing the technical know-how and industrial support to BHEL for the serial production of ARVs in India.
The VT-72B Armoured Recovery Vehicle.
Reportedly BHEL will be spending about $125 million to set up a dedicated ARV facility in Hyderabad and production was expected to begin there by the end of 2001. It is now known whether that has occurred. The ARV facility is expected to manufacture at least 50 vehicles a year, and BHEL expects to get an order for a total of 400 ARVs during the next 10 years. The ARV is intended for recovery of modern tanks, and for towing all types of tracked and wheeled vehicles. It will carry equipment for repair work and can also be used as a bulldozer. The ARV model is built on a version of the T-72M1 MBT and can carry a mounted hydraulic crane.
- The WZT-3 Armoured Recovery Vehicle. This Polish ARV is based on the T-72M1 hull, and is armed with a 12.7mm machine-gun, which is fitted to the commanderƒ??s hatch. Standard equipment includes: crane with telescopic jib that can lift a maximum load of 15 tons, front mounted stabilizing dozer blade, main and secondary winch.
In December 2001, India Defence Consultants reported that 155 VT-72B ARVs from ZTS Tees Martin of Slovakia for $723,000 each and 42 WZT-3 ARVs, built by Bumar–Labedy, from CENZIN of Poland for $723,000 each are being supplied. Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) is expected to build another lot. It is not known whether these ARVs are part of the February 2001 deal to deliver 400 VT-72B ARVs. In March 2002, Jane's Defence Weekly reported that Poland's PHZ Bumar has submitted, on behalf of ZM Bumar-Labedy (ZMBL) factory, a bid to deliver another batch of 80 ZM Bumar-Labedy WZT-3 ARVs to India. The contract is worth between $71 million and $75 million. The magazine also reported that a previous batch of 44 WZT-3 ARVs were purchased, in a $32 million contract, and delivered to Bharat Earth Movers Ltd (BEML) between December 2000 and September 2001