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.
In a rare admission in 2020, the Indian Army said that its BMP-2 ICVs were “night blind” and that their sighting systems, based on image intensification technology, were “not fit for modern-day warfare”, according to a Janes report at the time.
Since smaller UAVs have become a threat, “we are equipping BMP-2 ICVs with anti-drone capabilities as well”, said Lt Cdr Rajendrakumar. “We are developing weapons and electro-optics systems for the BMP-2 ICVs, which can be used to neutralise the drones.”
Other proposed upgrades include panoramic commander sights, a modern fire-control system, and remote control weapon station that can be coupled to any gun for firing, said Lt Cdr Rajendrakumar.