Israeli Rafael To Upgrade Indian Army’s 700 BMP-2 IFV

India’s Ministry of Defense has launched a program to modernize the Indian Army’s BMP-2/2K Sarath infantry fighting vehicles. The Russian website Topwar.ru reported that each company competing for a tender issued last year by the ministry for the upgrade of 811 of the vehicles has now received a BMP, which will be upgraded by the company and then tested by India later this year. 

The original Russian-made BMP lacks modern armor and weapons to compete with China’s type 15 light tank and infantry fighting vehicles.

Israel Defense has learned that a number of Israeli companies engaged in the fields of armor, ergonomics, weapons and control systems are competing for the tender. It also seems that a larger number of BMP IFVs, about 1,600, including various versions of the vehicle, will be upgraded. 

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The modernization process will be carried out at Indian enterprises. The vehicles will be equipped with a more powerful engine, modern control systems, a thermal imaging sight for the gunner, a third-generation panoramic sight for the commander, a modern fire control system and an automatic target tracking system.

The BMP-2 Sarath is the Indian version of the Russian-made BMP-2 tracked armored IFV. The Army Recognition website reported that 700 BMP-2s ordered from Russia in 1984 were delivered to India between 1987 and 1991. A total of 400 of the vehicles ordered in 1985 were produced under license in India.

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