India’s Defense Purchasing Council has approved the acquisition of a new infantry fighting vehicle to replace the BMP-2, locally named Sarath, infantry fighting vehicle.
FICV, or Future Infantry Combat Vehicle, is to be an infantry fighting vehicle with tracked traction, capable of overcoming water obstacles by swimming, so it is planned to retain the capabilities provided by the BMP-2.
The armament is to be mounted in a turret system equipped with stabilization, a fire control system, and modern electro-optics for the gunner and the commander. The main armament is to be an automatic cannon of at least 30 mm caliber, coupled with a 7.62 mm machine gun, anti-tank guided missile launcher and a remotely controlled weapon module, also armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun.
The FICV is to carry a crew of three and eight landing troops. The vehicle is to have a modular structure that will facilitate the development of various specialized versions.
At the moment, apart from the infantry fighting vehicle, a reconnaissance combat vehicle and a command vehicle are planned, and in the future also an armored personnel carrier, a self-propelled mortar, a medical evacuation vehicle, a contamination reconnaissance vehicle and a technical support vehicle.
A total of about 1,750 FICV vehicles are planned to be purchased, and several companies are participating in the tender for the new IFV, including Armored Vehicles Nigam Limited, Tata Motors, Mahindra Defense Systems and Larsen & Toubro.