Future Firepower Image Credit: Geopolitics
Future Firepower Image Credit: Geopolitics

Future Firepower

The Indian Army is looking for a next generation main battle tank.

Mike Rajkumar

The Indian Army has one of the largest Main Battle Tank (MBT) fleets amongst militaries globally and its recent decision to procure a new generation, Medium Weight Class Tank, kicks off the effort to find a replacement for its Russian T-72 MBTs. A Request for Proposal (RFP) for the acquisition of approximately 1770 armoured fighting vehicles (in various kit combinations) is expected to be issued by mid-2018. This vehicle, which will be called the Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV), will form the base platform for the Main Battle Tank. Three new generation MBTs are required to be provided for user trials and series production rate of not less than 150 tanks per year is envisaged. It is also planned to subsequently develop other need-based Family of Variants on this platform such as; Light Tank – that can operate in obstacle-ridden terrain, Bridge Layer Tank, Trawl Tank and Full Width Engineer Mine Ploughs, Armoured Recovery Vehicle, Self-Propelled Base Platform for other Arms/Combat Support Arms.

While the specifications for the next generation combat vehicle platform are suitably futuristic, the Army has repeatedly failed to successfully complete the procurement process for vitally needed equipments such as assault rifles, carbines, sniper rifles, artillery pieces and SAM systems to name a few. Cost is likely to prove a major barrier for the FRCV procurement as the cost of a new T-90 MBT alone is in the region of ₹30 crore. The RFI asks for a platform that p

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