The Army has issued a tender — Request For Information (RFI) — for the procurement of 1,750 Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICVs) to replace the Russian-origin infantry vehicles in service.
Early this month, an RFI was also issued for the procurement of 1770 Future Ready Combat Vehicles (FRCV) for the procurement of the next generation Main Battle Tank with planned induction from 2030.
“The Ministry of Defence intends to procure an approximate 1,750 quantities of Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles (Tracked) in three versions,” the RFI published on Thursday said. Aproximately, 55% of them should be gun version, 20% command version and 25% command and surveillance version.
Vendors have been asked to express willingness within a week.
“A three-stage induction model has been proposed by the Army and Indian vendors can collaborate with Foreign Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to supply FICVs within two years of the contract at the rate of 75-100 vehicles per year,” one officer said. This is the Army’s third attempt for the pronouncement of a new infantry vehicle.
According to the RFI, the FICVs will be employed for cross-country operations, including amphibious operations in plain and desert terrain along the Western borders and high altitudes, up to 5000m, and mountain terrain along the northern borders in eastern Ladakh, the central sector and north Sikkim. They will replace the 1980s vintage Russian-origin BMP-2, the officer said.
Based on the responses to the RFI, the Army will finalise the specifications and also decide the procurement category. The main operational tasks that will have to performed by the FICV are to destroy enemy tanks, armoured personnel carriers, combat vehicles, low flying helicopters and other ground-based weapon platforms and positions.
The vehicle should have a service or operational life of at least 32 years with maximum one overhaul and repair, the RFI said. The FICV should be modular in design, enabling future upgrades through simple modifications and to facilitate subsequent development of family of armoured fighting vehicles like command-control vehicles, armoured personnel carrier, armoured ambulance, mortar carrier, command post vehicle, reconnaissance and surveillance vehicle, NBC reconnaissance vehicle, engineer reconnaissance vehicle, armoured recovery vehicle among others.
The RFI for FRCV issued on June 1 says it is intended to procure a new generation ‘future tank’, 1770 of them in a phased manner, “with expected induction by 2030, along with performance based logistics, transfer of technology, engineering support package and other maintenance and training requirements”. The FRCV platform is planned to be procured under the ‘Strategic Partnership’ route of the Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020. The FRCV is envisaged as a medium weight tank and will remain in service for the next 40-50 years as the MBT of the Army.