Army looks at replacing old combat vehicles in Sikkim, Ladakh amid Chinese aggression

a truck driving down a dirt road: Army combat vehicles

Army combat vehicles

The Indian Army is looking to replace its vintage infantry combat vehicles in service since the 1980s and has intimated the process to acquire a modern version of the platform more suited for troops in high-altitude areas of Sikkim and Ladakh amid Chinese aggression.

These will ensure swift deployment of troops in difficult terrain in high-altitude areas. Sources said 55% of 1,750 infantry combat vehicles would be a gun-version of the vehicle while the rest would be specialist vehicles.

Infantry combat vehicles are used to accommodate troops and transport them close to the enemy to launch a final assault on the ground.

The Indian Army on June 23 published the Request for Information (RFI) for its Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (Tracked) under ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ programme, Army officials said.

Vendors who are interested in participating in this project have been asked to express their willingness within a week.

A three-stage induction model has been proposed by the Army and Indian vendors can collaborate with foreign manufacturers to supply FICV within two years of contract at a rate of 75-100 vehicles per year.

During the Ladakh standoff, the Indian Army deployed its infantry combat vehicles the Russian BMPs that will be replaced once the new versions are acquired.

An earlier plan for acquiring modern infantry combat vehicles was stuck in red tape despite clearances by the defence ministry way back in 2009. In wake of the current challenges after the military tussle with China in Ladakh, the Army is hopeful of the project being expedited.


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