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Update: Indian Army to get 156 additional BMP-2 ICVs

India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has approved the procurement of 156 additional licence-built BMP-2 ‘Sarath’ infantry combat vehicles (ICVs) for the Indian Army (IA) from the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) for INR10.94 billion (USD146 million).

The Indian government’s Press Information Bureau (PIB) announced on 2 June that the BMPs will be manufactured by Ordnance Factory Project Medak (OFPM) in southern India, with deliveries set to be completed by 2023. OFPM has assembled and licence-built more than 2,500 units of the BMP-2 – and the BMP-2K variant – since 1987.

The Indian MoD has approved the procurement of 156 additional BMP-2 ICVs for the IA.

The Indian MoD has approved the procurement of 156 additional BMP-2 ICVs for the IA.

The additional ICVs are meant to mitigate the existing deficiencies in the IA’s mechanised battalions and enhance the force’s combat capability, stated the PIB.

The ICVs – each of which weighs 14.3 tonnes, is operated by a three-man crew, and is capable of transporting up to seven fully equipped troops – are also expected to “fulfil the operational requirement for rapid deployment of the army’s mechanised units”, said the MoD.

Each of the platforms has an operational range of 600 km and is capable of reaching a top speed of 65 km/h on roads, 45 km/h off-road, and 3.8 kt on water.

Armament on these platforms includes a 2A42 30 mm dual-feed, fully stabilised cannon and a coaxial 7.62 mm PKT machine gun. Mounted on the turret roof is a 9Sh119M1 missile launcher for 9M113 Konkurs anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).

The IA employs about 1,500 BMP-2/2Ks in assorted roles, including armoured ambulances, amphibious bulldozers, and engineer reconnaissance vehicles.

Some ICV variants featuring a modified chassis have been fitted with Nag missile carriers (NAMICAs) capable of deploying up to six locally developed Nag ATGMs.

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