Ground Warfare

AVNL Awarded Indian Ministry of Defence Contract to Upgrade BMP2 to BMP2M

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AVNL Awarded Indian Ministry of Defence Contract to Upgrade BMP2 to BMP2M

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AVNL Awarded Indian Ministry of Defence Contract to Upgrade BMP2 to BMP2M
AVNL Awarded Indian Ministry of Defence Contract to Upgrade BMP2 to BMP2M

State-owned Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (AVNL), headquartered in Avadi, Chennai, has recently inked a significant contract with the Indian Ministry of Defence for the upgrade of BMP2 to BMP2M. This move marks a pivotal step in the modernization efforts of India’s Mechanised Infantry battalions, aligning with the nation’s vision for a robust indigenous defence manufacturing ecosystem. Established in 2021 as part of the restructuring and corporatisation of the Ordnance Factory Board, AVNL has emerged as a key player in enhancing India’s defence capabilities. The upgrades encompass crucial enhancements such as Night Enablement, Gunner Main Sight, Commander Panoramic Sight, and Fire Control System (FCS) with Automatic Target Tracker under the Buy Indian-Indigenously Designed Developed and Manufactured Category.

A testament to India’s technological prowess, the Avadi-based company has developed an indigenised solution for equipping existing BMP 2/2K with Night Fighting Capabilities and FCS. Leveraging the expertise of Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL), Chennai, AVNL’s solution integrates locally developed sight and FCS, highlighting the synergy between government agencies and the private sector in advancing indigenous defence technologies. The incorporation of equipment and sub-systems from indigenous manufacturers underscores India’s commitment to self-reliance in defence production. By harnessing domestic expertise, AVNL’s initiative is poised to fortify India’s defence manufacturing ecosystem, reducing dependency on foreign imports and bolstering national security.

Indian Army BMP-2 Sarath Infantry Fighting Vehicle.
Indian Army BMP-2 Sarath Infantry Fighting Vehicle. (Photo by Indian Ministry of Defence)

The BMP-2 is an amphibious infantry fighting vehicle introduced in the 1980s in the Soviet Union. 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. It was estimated that, by 2007, 1,250 vehicles had been built. As of February 2020, around 2,500 Saraths were made. On June 2, 2020, India’s Ministry of Defence announced placement of an order of 156 BMP-2 Sarath vehicles for the Indian Army’s infantry units. The deployment of BMP2s in strategic locations such as the Galwan Valley underscores their importance in bolstering India’s defence posture amid ongoing geopolitical tensions.

The BMP 2 has undergone continuous upgrades to meet the evolving challenges of modern warfare. Renowned for its versatility and firepower, the BMP 2 plays a pivotal role in providing troops with enhanced mobility and protection on the battlefield. In recent upgrade plans, emphasis has been placed on enhancing the BMP 2’s targeting and surveillance capabilities. Advanced Fire Control Systems, Automatic Target Trackers, and Thermal Imaging technology have been integrated to ensure more precise engagement of enemy targets, even in low-light conditions. Of particular significance is the introduction of “see-through armour,” a groundbreaking technology that enhances situational awareness for troops inside the BMP 2. This innovation, coupled with the integration of magnetic trackers and helmet display systems, empowers commanders with real-time visibility and informed decision-making capabilities.

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