Indian armed forces wants to purchase around 1,750 futuristic infantry combat vehicles (FICVs) capable of swiftly transporting troops and equipped with state-of-the-art weapons.
The military has already issued a request for information (RFI) to finalize all specifications regarding the purchase. It is also currently identifying Indian vendors who can supply the first batch of FICVs within two years of signing a contract.
The new infantry vehicles are expected to include a weapons system that destroys enemy tanks, armored personnel carriers, and low-flying helicopters. They should also provide “protected mobility” to soldiers operating in a variety of terrains and environments, including when exposed to chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats.
The FICVs will reportedly be stationed in Eastern Ladakh in places with desert and amphibious terrains. They are expected to be operational for at least 32 years.
This is the second time that the Indian military has issued an RFI for the procurement of combat vehicles. Earlier this month, it sought the response of foreign armament firms for development of 1,770 advanced main battle tanks or future ready combat vehicles.
Part of ‘Make in India’ Initiative
India’s decision to acquire more than 1,500 FICVs is part of the government’s “Make in India” initiative launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in 2014. It aims to attract more investment by strengthening the country’s manufacturing sector.
Last month, the southern Asian nation unveiled its second list of defense hardware that it intends to be home grown, marking a boost for domestic defense industries. The list includes single-engine light helicopters, next generation corvettes, small unmanned aerial vehicles for surveillance, and anti-material rifles.
The Indian Defence Ministry also cleared a project to domestically build six conventional submarines worth $5.7 million for the Indian Navy.
Moreover, the army issued another RFI to identify probable Indian vendors who can produce 2,000 gun-towing vehicles to move its 155mm/52 caliber towed gun systems through rough, mountainous, and desert terrains.