India orders 156 more ICV’s

IDD Bureau

Upping  its war fighting capabilities, India has announced procurement of an additional 156 of Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty-2 (BMP) 2/2K armoured infantry combat vehicle (AIFV).

The Ordnance Factory Board (OFB),   an entity owned by the Indian Ministry of Defecne,  has been licence producing the Russian –parentage BMP’s since 1987. It has been tasked to supply the 156 at a cost of Rs 1,094 crore ( approx $ 135 million).

The Ordnance Factory, Medak in Telangana will produce these BMP’s which will have upgraded features and be used by the the Mechanised Forces of the Indian Army.  The target for inducting them is 2023.

“With the induction the existing deficiency in the Mechanised Infantry Battalions will be mitigated and the combat capability of the Army will be further enhanced.”

a Ministry of Defence statement

Indian Army currently has some 1500 of the BMP-2/2K and is separately looking to upgrade the entire fleet to what it classifies are BMP-M standards . Besides carrying troop, the BMP’s are used as engineer reconnaissance vehicles and also as bulldozers.

The specs of the BMP

The BMP-2/2K ICVs are going to be powered by 285 horse power engines and are lower in weight which will make them highly mobile to meet all tactical requirements of mobility in the battlefield. These ICVs have a operational range  of 600 kms and will be able to reach a speed of 65 kilometres per hour (kmph) with easy steering ability in cross country terrain. They will have amphibious capabilities to travel at 07 kmph in water. These are designed to overcome slope of upto 35° cross obstacles of 0.7 metre and have lethal firepower capability.

Each of the machines will weighs 14.3 tonnes, a three-man crew will operate it and will be capable of transporting up to nine armed and equipped troops.

The BMP carries a 30 mm fully stabilised cannon and a coaxial 7.62 mm PKT machine gun. Its turret roof carries a missile launcher for 9M113 Konkurs anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).

The Indian army has about  BMP-2 Sarath IFVs, the BMP2-2K has smaller troop compartment due to the extra communications equipment on it.

Army also looking a wheeled option

A WHAP, it has tyres unlike the tracks used for BMP

The BMP is tracked vehicle. Separately, the Indian Army is seeking to procure 198 Wheeled Armoured (WHaP) fighting vehicles that will can be adapted for several roles including a  Wheeled Armoured protection troop carrier, an amphibious role to cross canals and rivers, a vehicle carrying a 30 mm guns besides the ability to carry a 105 MM gun, act like a command post vehicle, be used an ambulance, special purpose platform and a 120 mm mortar carrier. Read about it, here   

Ordance factory Medak has outsourced BMP work

Established in 1987, Indian Ordnance Factories Ordnance Factory, Medak (OFMK) is involved in the manufacturing of Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV) BMP-2 christened as ‘SARATH’ and its variants. The first vehicle, under licensed production by the Ordnance Factory, Medak was assembled from components supplied by KBP, Russia in 1987.

By 1999, about 90% of the complete vehicle and its associated systems were being sourced from India. So far the factory has licence-built more than 2,500 units of the BMP-2 and the BMP-2K variant since 1987.

The Medak plant has outsourced work to production agencies. These include the Ordnance Factory Trichy for the 30 mm 2A42 cannon; MTPF Ambarnath for the turret traversing and elevating mechanism and part of the missile launcher; Gun Carriage Factory Jabalpur for main gun mount and 81 mm smoke grenade launchers; OLF Deharadun, for day and night vision devices and the gunsight; BEML KGF for transmission and final drives; BELTEX Madras for 30 mm cannon gun stabiliser and electrical cables; BDL Medak for the missile and launcher. The Engine Factory Avadi produces the engines.

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