India’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) has approved the procurement of 156 additional licence-built BMP-2 ‘Sarath’ infantry combat vehicles (ICVs) for the Indian Army (IA) from the state-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) for INR11.25 billion (USD148 million).
On 31 May that once the order from the MoD is granted, Ordnance Factory Project Medak (OFPM) in southern India will begin manufacturing the amphibious platforms.
The Indian MoD has approved the procurement of 156 additional BMP-2 ICVs for the IA.
Official sources said the MoD has indicated that OFPM, which has assembled and licence-built more than 2,500 units of the BMP-2 and the BMP-2K variant since 1987, will be required to complete delivery of all 156 ICVs within 24 months.
The additional ICVs – each of which weighs 14.3 tonnes, is operated by a three-man crew, and is capable of transporting up to seven fully equipped troops – are expected to “fulfil the operational requirement for rapid deployment of the army’s mechanised units”, said the MoD.
Each of the platforms has an operational range of 600 km and is capable of reaching a top speed of 65 km/h on roads, 45 km/h off-road, and 3.8 kt on water.
Armament on these platforms includes a 2A42 30 mm dual-feed, fully stabilised cannon and a coaxial 7.62 mm PKT machine gun. Mounted on the turret roof is a 9Sh119M1 missile launcher for 9M113 Konkurs anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).
The IA employs about 1,500 BMP-2/2Ks in assorted roles, including armoured ambulances, amphibious bulldozers, and engineer reconnaissance vehicles.
Some ICV variants featuring a modified chassis have been fitted with Nag missile carriers (NAMICAs) capable of deploying up to six locally developed Nag ATGMs.
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