New Delhi: Indian Army will add more teeth to its armoured regiments with the induction of 1,700 new generation future tanks. The Army is already in the process of inducting 118 indigenously-manufactured Arjun Mark 1-A ‘Hunter Killers’ at a cost of Rs 8,380 crore.
The Ministry of Defence is planning to procure the tanks in a phased manner, under a strategic partnership route. The entire induction process is expected to be completed by 2030.
In its Request for Information (RFI) issued on Tuesday (June 1, 2021), the MOD added that the ‘Future Tank’ platform namely Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) is intended to replace older battle tanks currently used by the Indian Army.
It added that the current RFI supercedes the previous Request for Proposal (RFP) floated for the procurement of FRCVs in 2017.
The interested parties or companies can send their response to the RFI by September 15, 2021.
“In conformity with the emerging future threat spectrum and the technological advancements, the Indian Army intends to induct a new ‘state-of-the art’ ‘technology enabled’ tank to operate in varied terrain profile (High Altitude Areas, Plains/Riverine, Deserts/Semi-Deserts) across the current and future spectrum of conflict,” MoD said in the RFI.
These new-generation tanks will remain in service for the next 40-50 years as the ‘Main Battle Tank’ of the Indian Army, it added.
The Centre said that it intends in acquiring ‘comprehensive technologies’ including detailed design manufacturing know-how of the FRCV platform being offered. MoD also said that the Indian ‘strategic partner’ will retain the ownership of the design and technologies for the platform under ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ scheme.
Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV)
According to Indian Army’s requirements, ‘future tanks’ should ideally be adaptable to Indian terrain and temperature conditions. The platform should be able to defeat adversary’s armoured vehicles, tanks, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and deter or destroy helicopter attacks.
The RFI also requires the FRCV platform to have multiple anti-aircraft weapons, different stealth features, and a ground role with different calibre assisted with remote control weapon stations.
The Army seeks medium-weight class tanks with modern advance multipurpose ‘smart munitions’ both for main and secondary armaments with a gun tube-launched anti-tank guided missiles. The digital fire control system equipped auto-loading mode, which will require minimum intervention and engagement time, MoD added.
The announcement for fresh procurement comes after Rajnath Singh, Defence Minister of India, approved a proposal of the Department of Military Affairs, Ministry of Defence (MoD) to notify the ‘Second Positive Indigenisation List’ of 108 items, on Monday.
The ‘Second Positive Indigenisation List’ comprises of complex systems, sensors, simulator, weapons and ammunitions like Helicopters, Next Generation Corvettes, Air Borne Early Warning and Control (AEW&C) systems, Tank Engines, Medium Power Radar for Mountains, MRSAM Weapon Systems and many more such items to fulfill the requirements of Indian Armed Forces.
Indian Army currently operates Russian-made T-90 tanks and T-72 tanks. The new procurement will eventually replace the T-72 tanks by 2030.