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Indian Army plans to acquire ATGMs, machine guns

The Indian Army seeks to arm in-service BMP-2 ICVs – pictured above taking part in an Indian Army exercise in November 2022 – with anti-tank guided missiles. (Janes/Kapil Kajal)

The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has outlined plans to procure anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs) and general-purpose machine guns (GPMG) for the Indian Army.

The projects, which indicate India's efforts to enhance firepower along its borders with China and Pakistan, were initiated through requests for information (RFIs) issued by the MoD in early June.

The ATGM project features the acquisition of 5,000 fire-and-forget missiles and 500 launcher systems to be mounted on licence-built BMP-2/2K β€˜Sarath' infantry combat vehicles (ICVs).

According to the RFI, the ATGMs – capable of top and direct attack modes – must be less than 1.25 m in length, 25 kg in weight, and have a 125 mm calibre. The missiles should fire at a minimum range of 200 m and 1,100 m for direct and top attack modes, respectively, and at a maximum range of more than 5 km.

The ATGMs must be capable of penetrating at least 650 mm rolled homogeneous armour equivalent (RHAe) and explosive reactive armour (ERA).

The missiles must be equipped with day and night dual-mode seekers, wireless guidance systems, inter-changeable anti-armour warheads with impact fuze, or multi-purpose anti-armour, blast-penetration, and high explosive warheads with air-burst fuze. The RFI also said the system must fire two ATGMs in simultaneous and successive launches.

The ATGMs will be used to destroy enemy tanks, armoured personnel carriers (APCs), combat vehicles, low-flying helicopters, and other ground-based weapon platforms along the line of actual control (LAC) with China and the western border with Pakistan, the RFI added.

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