The Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has reportedly granted approval for the purchase of 156 BMP-2 ‘Sarath’ infantry combat vehicles (ICVs).

The additional vehicles for the Indian Army are being procured for around Rs11.25bn ($148m).

State-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) will be responsible for the delivery of the licence-built amphibious vehicles.

Production of the ICVs will be undertaken by Ordnance Factory Project Medak (OFPM) in southern India. Work will start once the order is placed by the MoD.

OFB joint director and PRO Dr Uddipan Mukherjee was quoted by Financial Express Online as saying: “These 156 BMP Vehicles are going to be manufactured by the Ordnance Factory Medak, which is under Ordnance Factory Board.”

Delivery of the 156 ICVs is expected to conclude within a period of two years.

The 14.3t vehicle will be capable of transporting up to seven fully equipped troops and requires a three-man crew to operate it.

With an operational range of 600km, the vehicle can reach maximum speeds of 65km/h on roads, 45km/h off-road, and 3.8k on water.

The platforms can be equipped with a 2A42 30mm dual-feed with stabilised cannon, a coaxial 7.62mm PKT machine gun and a 9Sh119M1 missile launcher for 9M113 Konkurs anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).

Currently, the Indian Army uses 1,500 BMP-2/2Ks for a range of operations.

Since 1987, the OFPM has assembled and built more than 2,500 units of the BMP-2 and the BMP-2K variant.

Earlier this year, Indian defence contractor Larsen & Toubro (L&T) delivered 51 K9 Vajra-T 155mm / 52-calibre tracked self-propelled howitzers (SPHs) to the IA.