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.
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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