New Delhi: Indian Army will soon get new generation, state-of-the-art tanks called the Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV), numbering over 1700, to replace the ageing Soviet-era T-72 tanks.
FRCV is planned to be used for “rapid dominance” in the battlefield with real time awareness, agility, lethal firepower and multi-layered protection. The army wants it to be able to conduct operations during day and night and respond to anti-tank and anti-aircraft threats, including low flying manned and unmanned rotary aircraft. It is likely to be employed in varied terrains, including high altitude areas, deserts and mountainous terrain.
The Defence Ministry has issued a global request for information (RFI) on Wednesday for development and manufacturing of FRCV under the Strategic Partnership model in collaboration with an Indian partner. Under the joint development plan, the design will be provided by the Foreign Original Equipment Manufactured to the selected Indian strategic partner.
FRCV, which is planned to be used in border areas close to Pakistan and China, will not only form the basic platform of the main battle tank, but also for a family of variants such as lighter tanks, taking the total number of vehicles to be manufactured under this project to over 2,000.
In addition, such a push indicates India’s moving away from indigenous tank projects like Arjun Tanks and reduction in dependence on Russian-origin military vehicles.
Due to different “operational scenarios” and for maintaining combat edge over an adversary, the Army needs to induct latest medium-weight class tanks to replace the vintage T-72 tank fleet. The army is seeking induction of the FRCVs by 2025-27. Accordingly, the RFI was issued to procure 1,770 FRCVs in a phased manner.
This includes operations at temperatures ranging between -30 Degree Celsius to +50 Degree Celsius. A previous RFI issued in June, 2015, for the designs of a FRCV stated that the vehicle should be able to be used along India’s western border.