In the race to build a state-of-the-art artillery system, the Indian Army is considering its future need of modern and lethal main battle tanks.
The army now wants advanced “shock and awe” capabilities in the shape of futuristic main-battle tanks, with a wide array of weapons, missiles, and protection systems, as well as “niche” technologies like “artificial intelligence” and “see-through armor” for the crew. The Army has sought the response of foreign armament companies or OEMs (original equipment manufacturers) for the proposed mega “Make in India” project that includes the induction of 1,770 “future-ready combat vehicles” (FRCVS) in a phased manner, according to The Print.
The global RFI (request for information) specifically mentioned that the Army expects induction of the FRCVS by 2030 under the “strategic partnership” route with an “inclusive” technology transfer, including detailed design manufacturing know-how. The FRCVS will remain in service for the next 40 to 50 years as the Indian Army’s main battle tank, the RFI stated.
In accordance with the “emerging future threat spectrum and technological advancements,” the new “state-of-the-art” and “technology-enabled” tank should be able to operate in diverse terrains, like high-altitude areas, plains, riverine and deserts, the RFI added.
The defence ministry in February had given the preliminary approval for the procurement of 118 improved Arjun Mark-1A tanks for Rs 8,379 crore. The 118 Arjun’s will add to the first 124 tanks inducted by the Army well over a decade ago, even as the DRDO remains keen to go in for a Mark-II version.
At present, the backbone of the Army’s armored regiments is the Russian-origin T-90S tanks. So far, it has inducted 1,200 of the total order of 1,657 T-90S tanks being produced under license by the Heavy Vehicles Factory (HVF) at Avadi.