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India clears acquisition of Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle

The Indian Army seeks to replace its fleets of BMP-1 and BMP-2, pictured from an Indian Army exercise in November 2022, with the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle. (Janes/Kapil Kajal)

India's Defence Acquisition Council (DAC), chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, has approved the procurement of the Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) for the Indian Army.

The Ministry of Defence (MoD) said in a statement that the procurement, approved through the provision of an ‘Acceptance of Necessity' (AoN) status under the ‘Buy (Indian)' category, includes the tracked version of the FICV for the Mechanised Infantry Regiment of the Indian Army.

The MoD added that the FICV should be amphibious and equip a manned turret with the future combat system (FCS), and fire-and-forget top-attack anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).

The FICV must be inducted with an automatic cannon of at least 30 mm calibre, a co-axial machine gun, and a stabilised remote control weapon station (RCWS) with a 12.7 mm machine gun.

The FICV must be equipped with active protection and laser warning systems, and it must have a carrying capacity of 11 soldiers.

In June 2021, the Indian Army issued a request for information (RFI) on the planned procurement of 1,750 units of indigenously developed, amphibious, tracked FICVs.

The issuance of the RFI marked the Indian Army's third attempt since 2008 to acquire FICVs to replace the service's ageing fleet of Soviet Union-era BMP-1 and BMP-2 infantry combat vehicles (ICVs), Janes reported at the time.

India's state-run Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (AVNL), and private-sector companies such as Mahindra Defence Systems, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), and Tata Motors are developing FICV prototypes for the Indian Army and are likely to take part in the FICV bidding process.

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