Indian Army wants new combat vehicles to carry attack, surveillance drones

By The Week

The Indian Army on Wednesday published a detailed request for information (RFI) from suppliers soliciting proposals to supply futuristic infantry combat vehicles (FICV).

Infantry combat vehicles, or infantry fighting vehicles as they are called in the west, are armoured vehicles that are the main means of transport of ‘mechanised infantry’. These vehicles can carry anywhere from five to 10 soldiers into battle, while also being capable of engaging targets on the ground using guns and anti-tank missiles.

The RFI issued by the Indian Army specifies that it intends to procure up to 1,750 FICVs in three versions. The three versions are a ‘gun version’, a command version and a command and surveillance version. The ‘gun version’, which is primarily meant for combat operations, will constitute the bulk of the intended order quantity (55 per cent). Command versions of infantry combat vehicles are used by battlefield commanders to direct operations and correspond with superiors.

While the RFI specifies the gun version of the FICV should be capable of housing a crew of three and carrying at least eight soldiers, the remaining two variants should have a crew of three and should carry four soldiers.

The Indian Army specifies the FICVs will be procured in the spirit of ‘Make in India’ and ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ programmes.

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