In order to more strength to the Indian Army, it has issued the Request for Information (RFI) on Thursday to finalise the specifications for acquiring 1,750 Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICVs). This request was made under the Make in India initiative to destroy enemy tanks and carry troops.
The Army wants to deploy these vehicles in places like Eastern Ladakh along with desert and amphibious terrain specifically along Pakistan. This project was in plans for a long time. However, the need for a modern troops carrier equipped with tank-busting capabilities vehicles increased when it was felt during the recent Ladakh conflict.
The instances, Indian Army experienced in the Ladakh theatre, it is also looking at the prospect of acquiring 350 light tanks in a phased manner, along with performance-based logistics, niche technologies, engineering support package, and other maintenance and training requirements.
The Light Tank is planned to be procured under the ‘Make-in-India’ ethos and spirit of the Defence Acquisition Procedure (DAP) – 2020, the Indian Army has stated. The Indian Army specified that it wants its less than 25 tonnes tanks to be used for operations in High Altitude Area (HAA), marginal terrain (Rann), amphibious operations, etc.
“The advancement in technology also facilitates that the ‘Light Tank’ is having weapon systems and protection of adequate capacity and is equipped suitably to operate in current/future threat spectrum, to support combat operations as a weapon system,” the RFI issued on April 23 said.
The requested order stated that the FICVs should have weapon systems capable of destroying enemy tanks, armoured personnel carriers, low-flying helicopters and other ground-based weapon platforms and positions. The tracked vehicles should provide “protected mobility” to its crew and troops in the different terrains, including CBRN (chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear) environment, says the RFI.
The FICVs should have an operational life of at least 32 years with maximum one overhaul or repair intervention, and be capable of being transported by existing in-service tank transporter vehicles of the Army, IAF transport aircraft and broad-gauge railway military bogies.