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Indian Army issues RFI for 1,770 ‘future tanks'

The Indian Army (IA) has invited responses from foreign manufacturers by 15 September to its request for information (RFI) regarding the planned procurement of 1,770 medium weight “future tanks ” by 2030 under the service's ‘Future Ready Combat Vehicle' (FRCV) programme.

In the RFI, which was issued on 1 June, the IA said it aims to acquire these platforms in a “phased manner” via the Strategic Partnership (SP) model outlined in the Ministry of Defence's (MoD's) Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 (DAP 2020).

This is expected to involve a domestic private-sector company partnering with a foreign original equipment manufacturer (OEM) to deliver a shortlisted FRCV, a small number of which could be directly imported, with the Indian partner company building the remainder locally under a transfer of technology.

Notably, the RFI stated that the Indian partner company would retain ownership of the FRCV's design and technologies to advance the government's ‘Make in India' initiative, which is aimed at reducing reliance on materiel imports.

The designated Indian partner would also be required to ensure FRCV deliveries are in “synch with technological advancements”, in addition to providing performance-based logistics for the platform, an engineering support package, and training to its operating and maintenance crews.

According to the RFI, once acquired, the FRCVs would serve as the IA's main battle tanks (MBTs) for the ensuing 40–50 years. The RFI has also requested for the vehicle platform to lend itself toward the development of a future family of vehicles, with recovery and bridge-laying variants mentioned specifically. Senior IA armoured corps officers have told Janes that further variants could also include air-defence, artillery observation, engineer reconnaissance, and armoured ambulance variants. This suggests a desire for a universal tracked platform.

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