The subject is already known since 2016 but comes back on the table: in the framework of the “Make in India” motto, a fully indigenous Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) is being developed by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and Defence Research Development Organisation (DRDO) for the Indian Army. A USD 8 billion program.
Tentatively named Mark I, the vehicle will help modernize Indian Army’s infantry which currently relies on BMP-II “Sarath”, a locally manufactured IFV armed with a 30 mm automatic gun. The joint collaboration between the Ordnance Factory Board and the DRDO will yield results in a period of three to five years, PTI reported, echoed by Defence Update. DRDO and OFB, which were earlier working separately on the project, decided to join forces to develop the project. When the project attains a satisfactory stage in tune with the feedback from Indian Army officials, the production of the vehicle will start. Mark I should be ready in 3-5 years whereas Mark II can take up to a decade in its development. In accordance with the Make in India initiative of the Modi government, most of the parts to be used in the production will be developed in India, except for some minor sub-systems.
With enhanced firepower, the vehicle will boast of an auto-grenade launcher with a range of 1,500 meters. It will also include an anti-tank guided missile capability that can fire missiles within a range of 4,000 meters with automatic command. A gun control system linked with a thermal imager fire control is another major feature.