BMP-2 “Sarath” (“Chariot of Victory”), also known as BMP-II – Indian licence-produced variant of the BMP-2, built by Ordnance Factory Medak. The first vehicle, assembled from components supplied by KBP, was ready in 1987. By 1999, about 90% of the complete vehicle and its associated systems were being produced in India. The Indian army is said to have about 980 BMP-2 Sarath IFVs, produced under a – then – Soviet licence, and 125 BMP-2K IFVs. The BMP-2K is a command vehicle derivative of the baseline BMP-2 IFV. The BMP-2 (Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty, literally “infantry combat vehicle”) is a second-generation, amphibious infantry fighting vehicle introduced in the 1980s in the Soviet Union, following on from the BMP-1 of the 1960s.
700 BMP-2 “Sarath” ordered in 1984 from the Soviet Union and delivered between 1987 and 1991 (most produced in India). 400 BMP-2 “Sarath” ordered in 1985 and produced in India between 1992 and 1995 at Ordnance Factory Medak of Ordnance Factories Board under Russian licence. 123 BMP-2K ordered in 2006 from Russia and delivered between 2007 and 2008. Around 300 BMP-2 “Sarath” were in service in 1995, 1,000 in 2000 and 2002, around 1,000 in 2005 and more than 1,000 in 2008. In May 2013, the Indian Army decided to upgrade all BMP-2/2K vehicles to BMP-2M standard. In Oct 2014 government of India gave nod to produce 362 more BMP-2 Saraths.
The Sarath is identical to the BMP-2 covered in detail in a separate entry and is fitted with a two-person turret. It is armed with a 30 mm 2A42 dual-feed cannon, a 7.62 mm PKT coaxial machine gun and a roof-mounted Russian Tula 9K113 Konkurs (NATO AT-5 ‘Spandrel’) ATGW launcher with a maximum range of 4,000 m. This missile is manufactured in India by BDL (Bharat Dynamics Limited). Since production of the BMP-2 commenced in India, a number of improvements have been incorporated including new radios and modified 30 mm cannon stabiliser.
More than 1500 BMP-2s are currently operational with the army in various roles, such as armoured ambulance, armoured vehicle tracked light repair, armoured amphibious dozer (AAD), armoured engineer reconnaissance vehicle (AERV), NBC reconnaissance vehicle (NBCRV), carrier mortar tracked, and unmanned reconnaissance vehicle. The vehicle’s chassis is also modified and developed into versions such as the Nag anti-tank missile carrier (NAMICA) and the Akash air-defence missile system.