Indian Army advances BMP-2 upgrade programme

by Kapil Kajal

The Indian Army plans to upgrade its BMP-2 ICVs with capabilities including see-through armour and anti-UAV systems. (Indian Ministry of Defence)

The Indian Army has initiated trials to upgrade its licence-built BMP-2/2K ‘Sarath' infantry combat vehicles (ICVs) with three local firms – Bangalore-based Tonbo Imaging, Chennai-based Big Bang Boom, and Thane-based Dimension NXG.

The Indian Army plans to upgrade its BMP-2 ICVs with see-through armour, anti-unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capabilities, thermal imager-based gunner and panoramic commander sights, a modern fire-control system, and an automatic target tracker.

Lieutenant Commander (retd) D Rajendrakumar, director of programmes at Tonbo Imaging, told Janes that one of the shortcomings of the existing BMP-2 ICVs is that it is not equipped with uncooled infrared (UIR) sensors.

“If the tanks don't have UIR, that means they are night blind. We have about 2,000 BMP-2 ICVs in the Indian Army, which don't have UIR. This is why we are installing see-through armour in the tanks so that they can roam around at night,” added Lt Cdr Rajendrakumar.

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USMC clears Amphibious Combat Vehicles for open-water training, caps breaker height

by Ashley Roque

A USMC Amphibious Combat Vehicle heads into the water. US marines can again train with the vehicles in open-water areas and surf zones since a July 2022 accident with two vehicles. (BAE Systems)

US marines are once again allowed to train with Amphibious Combat Vehicles (ACVs) in open water and surf zones but they can only operate the vehicles when the breaker height is less than four feet.

The US Marine Corps (USMC) ACV fleet has been sidelined from open-water operations since July when two vehicles were involved in an accident during a morning training exercise at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton in Southern California. During the event, one ACV personnel carrier (ACV-P) tipped onto its side in the surf zone and a second ACV-P became “disabled”, the 1st Marine Division announced that day. All marines inside the vehicles “safely” returned to the shore, but one ACV-P sank and the other one was towed to the shore, the division added.

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Bulgarian T-72 upgrade expected to be completed in 2023

by Nicholas Fiorenza

Bulgarian Defence Minister Dimitar Stoyanov expects the modernisation of Bulgaria's T-72 tanks to be completed by the end of April 2023 (photo of upgraded T-72 unveiled at the HEMUS 2022 defence exhibition in June). (Janes/Christopher Petrov)

Bulgarian Defence Minister Dimitar Stoyanov said during a visit to the Novo Selo training ground that the modernisation of Bulgaria's T-72 main battle tanks will be completed by the end of April 2023, his ministry reported on its website on 20 September. He expected the command and information systems for the upgrade to be delivered soon.

Bulgarian Ground Forces Deputy Commander Brigadier General Nikolay Karaivanov gave a briefing on the upgrade and the new capabilities it entails. The systems being installed were presented, including the battle management system, laser warning receivers, ‘autonomy enhancement system', and tank monitoring and control system.

At the Novo Selo training ground, military personnel from the Specialist Training Center in Sliven conducted firings of the tank gun with various ammunitions at different ranges and with the co-axial machine gun when the vehicle was stationary and on the move. The capabilities of the upgraded tank's thermal imaging camera at night and in poor visibility were also demonstrated.

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DE&S to review strategy in response to Ukraine

by Olivia Savage

Andy Start, the new CEO of DE&S, pictured at DE&S Ashchurch – the primary vehicle storage and distribution site for all types of armoured and soft-skinned vehicles. (Crown Copyright 2022)

Defence Equipment & Support (DE&S) – the procurement arm of the UK Ministry of Defence (MoD) – will review and refresh its strategy in light of Russia's invasion of Ukraine and evolving geopolitical threats.

In an exclusive first interview since taking over as the CEO of DE&S in September, Andy Start informed Janes that he will renew the strategy to recognise the changing global landscape since DE&S 2025 was published in May 2021.

Its updated objectives will also reflect and learn from the UK's response to Ukraine to extrapolate methodology and good practice across the defence enterprise. For instance, in response to the Ukraine crisis, DE&S has awarded 89 contracts, some in as little as 48 hours, and helped to procure approximately GBP1.1 billion (USD1.2 billion) worth of weapons, equipment, and supplies, either from existing defence stockpiles or as part of a procurement programme.

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The Indian Army has initiated trials to upgrade its licence-built BMP-2/2K ‘Sarath' infantry combat ...

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