The Indian Army (IA) has invited responses from foreign manufacturers by 15 September to its request for information (RFI) regarding the planned procurement of 1,770 medium weight “future tanks ” by 2030 under the service’s ‘Future Ready Combat Vehicle’ (FRCV) programme. The strategic partnership category of acquisition provides foreign defense manufacturers (OEM) to enter into JVs with Indian defense companies for a share in India’s defense orders along with the Transfer of Technology (ToT) of the winning platform.
The new Future Ready Combat Vehicle should be a Medium Weight Class Tank (t25 tonnes) and the design should be modular and physical dimensions should not impede its transportability by in-service rail, road, air, and ship. The tank should have a Large Calibre, Lethal, Modular, and upgradeable weapon system with the capability to destroy and offer countermeasures to varied threats and a digital fire control system, to incorporate, AI-enabled target acquisition / Multiple-Auto Target Tracker with hunter-killer capability and eye-safe laser range finder.
The tank should have STANAG level of all-round protection including top, bottom, sides, and frontal- against current/future KE/CE threat, Mines with a combination of other survival means (ERA, APS, etc). FRCV should be able to operate in all-terrain and have the agility and high mobility and is likely to be employed in varied terrain configuration, as existing in the Indian Sub-continent including High Altitude Areas, Plains/ Riverine and Deserts / Semi-Deserts Terrains under varied Temperature Conditions.
The Future Ready Combat Vehicle from 2030 for the next 40-50 years will remain as the ‘Main Battle Tank’ of the Indian Army and will be replacing Soviet-era T-72MBTs from the Indian Army fleet. In the RFI, which was issued on 1 June, the IA said it aims to acquire these platforms in a “phased manner” via the Strategic Partnership (SP) model outlined in the Indian Ministry of Defence’s Defence Acquisition Procedure 2020 (DAP 2020). 18 June 2021 has been fixed as the final date for interested parties to respond to the RFI.