Defence News India: In order to boost the mobility, protection and war fighting capabilities of Indian Army’s infantry units, the defence ministry Tuesday approved a major purchase decision under Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s flagship Make in India policy. The government placed order for 156 upgraded BMP-2 Sarath Infantry Combat Vehicles from the Ordnance Factory Board (OFB). The deal, which will be a big boost to local defence suppliers, has been valued at Rs 1,094 crores ($145.2 million).
“In a major boost to ‘Make in India’ initiative of the Government, the Acquisition Wing of Ministry of Defence (MoD) has placed an Indent on Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) for supply of 156 BMP 2/2k Infantry Combat Vehicles (ICV),” the defence ministry said.
Defence minister Rajnath Singh approved the defence procurement order.
The defence ministry said these Infantry Combat Vehicles (ICVs) will have upgraded features for the use of Indian Army’s mechanized forces.
These Infantry Combat Vehicles for Indian Army will be manufactured by the country’s public sector defence manufacturer OFB at the Ordnance Factory, Medak in southern state of Telangana.
The OFB is expected to manufacture more than 50 BMPs in a year and the delivery of total 156 Infantry Combat Vehicles is expected to be complete by 2023.
Indian Army’s BMP-2 Sarath will have more power & speed
The BMP-2/2K Infantry Combat Vehicles will be powered by a 285 horse power engine.
“Thee BMPs have low weight which will make them highly mobile to meet all tactical requirements of mobility in the battlefield,” the defence ministry said.
These BMP-2 Sarath ICVs will be able to reach a speed of 65 kilometres per hour with easy steering ability in cross-country terrain and will have amphibious capabilities with a speed of seven kilometres per hour in water.
The Infantry Combat Vehicles have been designed to overcome a slope of up to 35° and overcome an obstacle of 70 centimetres and have lethal firepower capabilities.
“With the induction of these 156 BMPs, the existing deficiency in the Mechanized Infantry Battalions will be mitigated and the combat capability of the Army will be further enhanced,” ministry of defence said in a statement.