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Aero India 2023

Indian Army to award $10 bln contract for combat vehicles

BMP-II ICV Sarath. A file photo.

NEW DELHI (BNS): Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), Ashok Leyland (ALL), Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Bharat Forge are among those who have submitted their bid for a $10 billion Indian defence ministry contract.

According to a news report in the Financial Express, the ministry will shortlist two vendors who will be responsible for the supply of Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICVs) for the Indian Army.

The defence ministry has asked only the Indian companies to submit their bid. They will finalise the winning firms by July end, based on technical and commercial criteria under the 'buy & make' category.

Only Indian firm(s) with requisite technical and financial capabilities will be given the order and thus will be expected to build 70% of the vehicle. The winner can opt for technology tie-ups with foreign companies if they wish.

According to sources, the FICV is expected to be half-tracked and half-wheeled, and a combat vehicle ready for inland warfare.

Infantry combat vehicles are used as means of armoured transportation designed to move infantrymen to the battlefield to follow up after tanks and capture combat areas.

Infantry-based forces are common throughout the world Though these forces have some armour they mainly rely on dismounted or motorised infantry for the bulk of their combat power Such armies normally mount at least per cent of their forces in armoured vehicles.

There is a requirement for 2,610 FICVs in the Indian Army, as the existing Sarath BMP-II combat vehicles built by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) will be phased out from 2017, as per the news report.

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