Millennium Post

India can build Future Infantry Combat Vehicle

The ministry of defence has recently concluded a feasibility study to decide whether the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle [FICV] can be built within the country. And the verdict they have passed is that the futuristic vehicle can be built in India by the domestic private sector companies, possibly in collaboration with a foreign partner.

The inputs of the study have been shared with the director general [acquisitions] of the ministry, who would be the final arbiter on the issue.

The project is being planned in the ‘buy and make [Indian]’ category of the Defence Procurement Procedure [DPP] 2011 that would require at least 50 per cent of the produce to be indigenous to qualify for 80 per cent government funding at the development stage. This will be one of the first few projects on the anvil under this new category.

The initiation of the FICV plan has been kicked off by the Vehicle Research and Development  Establishment of the Defence Research and Development Organisation to bridge the technology gap between the 1980s vintage BMPs and the brand new main battle tank, Arjun I and IIs. Called ‘Abhay’, this Infantry Combat Vehicle to the tanks, multi-lab and multidisciplinary programme to develop the indigenous vehicle incorporating a blend of state-of-the-art technologies with improved fire power, excellent mobility and high degree of protection.

The DRDO claims that the indigenous development of the ‘Abhay’ programme has led to the creation of a technology base and know-how for the envisaged development of the FICV.

According to the VRDE, the programme has enabled the identification of suitable industry partners, and has created pools of expertise in the development of the Infantry Combat Vehicles sub-systems. 

‘Development of FICV was derived mainly due to breakthrough technologies and developments in automobile industry worldwide and to meet the long-term requirements of the Services,’ DRDO sources say.

To realise the FICV within the time frame visualised by the Army and to use the lead time available, DRDO has taken the initiative to commence a technology demonstration project, ‘Development of Enabling Technologies’ for FICV to develop a virtual prototype of complete vehicle along with system hardware and technology.
Pinaki Bhattacharya

Pinaki Bhattacharya

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