As reported by Army Recognition back in 2021 and now by Dinakar Peri in The Hindu, the Indian Army is looking to procure a new-generation ‘Future Tank’ under the Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) project in a phased manner, with expected induction by 2030. An earlier ambitious attempt failed to take off and official sources said the domestic industry is now ready to take the project forward quickly. The Mechanised Infantry is also pushing hard to get a new vehicle under the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) project to replace its aging Soviet-era BMP-2s.
The Indian Army currently operates a large fleet consisting of T-72M1 Ajeya and T-90S Bhishma tanks, and two regiments of indigenous Arjun tanks with an upgraded Arjun Mk1A to be inducted shortly.
The Mechanised Infantry is also pushing hard to get a new vehicle under the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) project to replace its aging Soviet-era BMP-2s. “The Army is taking time to define the case and the requirements of the new tank. If all goes well, the prototype should be ready by 2030,” an official source said, reported by Dinakar Peri. The BMP-2s are in the process of being upgraded including night enablement and the second-generation AT-5 Spandrel (9K113 Konkurs) wire-guided Anti-Tank Guided Missiles (ATGM) on them are being replaced with an indigenous third-generation ATGM. In parallel, the FICV project and induction of other new platforms are also underway, officials explained.
Elaborating on the modernization plan of the Mechanised Infantry, the source said that planned acquisitions include a tracked FICV to replace the BMP-2. The Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for 480 new vehicles is expected to be put up before the Defence Acquisition Council in its next meeting, a source said. The Army is also looking at new airburst ammunition that can be fired from the 30 mm cannon of BMPs to destroy drones, Dinakar Peri writes.
In the wheeled category of vehicles, the procurement of 105 New Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles (Wh-AFV) and 1,080 ATGMs to replace the existing ones has been approved. Procurement of a new Light Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicle (LAMV) with enhanced mobility and protection to replace the existing modified Maruti (Suzuki) Gypsy with the Recce Platoons is also underway.