The Indian Defence Ministry will soon award a $10bn contract for the supply of futuristic infantry combat vehicles (FICVs) for the Indian Army.

Tata Motors, Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M), Ashok Leyland (ALL), Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Bharat Forge have already submitted their bids for the contract.

The Financial Express has reported that the ministry will shortlist two vendors and finalise the winning firms by the end of this month.

The order to build 70% of the vehicle will be awarded only to Indian firms, with options for technology tie-ups with foreign companies.

The FICV is expected to be half-tracked and half-wheeled designed to move infantrymen to the battlefield to follow up after tanks and capture combat areas.

The Indian Army requires 2,610 FICVs as the existing Sarath BMP-II combat vehicles will be phased out from 2017.