Indian Army plans to upgrade ICVs amid tensions with China

8 September 2020 (Last Updated September 8th, 2020 11:49)

The Indian Army is planning to upgrade the capabilities of its ageing infantry combat vehicles (ICVs) amid heightened military tensions with China.

Indian Army plans to upgrade ICVs amid tensions with China
Indian Army Infantry Combat Vehicles during an exercise. Credit: Fred W Baker III.

The Indian Army is planning to upgrade the capabilities of its ageing infantry combat vehicles (ICVs) amid heightened military tensions with China.

According to local news reports, the armed forces seeks to upgrade ICVs with better firepower and night-fighting capabilities to meet evolving requirements.

The Indian Army has already invited expression of interest (EoI) from domestic companies for the development of prototype vehicle and subsequent armament procurement for BMP-2/2K infantry combat vehicles.

The current fleet of BMP-2/2K was first inducted in 1985.

According to a Times of India report, the vehicle is equipped with anti-tank missiles, cannons and machine guns. However, it is not designed to operate at night, a drawback that impedes its battle capabilities.

These ICVs are also deployed along the line of actual control (LAC) in eastern Ladakh to confront the Chinese build-up across the border.

In the EOI, the Indian Army was quoted by the Hindustan Times as saying: “The terrain along our borders lends itself to conduct of large-scale mechanised operations and the belligerence of our adversaries on the borders, necessitate that our capabilities are adequately built up to match the threat.”

Overall, the plan includes upgrading 811 ICVs with third-generation thermal imager-based gunner sight, modern thermal imager-based commander sight, automatic target tracker and modernised fire control system.

The companies are expected to respond to the EOI in six weeks, the publication added.

The move comes when China has alleged that the Indian side fired warning shots during a confrontation adding fresh tensions to the border dispute.