The Ministry of Defense is making efforts to put the pending matters on the Rs. 51,468 crore (USD 8 billion) project of Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles (FCIV) back on track. Financial Express reports that in an effort in this direction, the Defense Acquisition Council is expected take a decision on the matter when it meets later this month.
In June 2015, the Indian Army had sent forth a request for information to create Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV), a new generation combat vehicle platform to replace the existing T-72 tanks. The Cabinet Committee on Security has approved the strategic partnership model under which the Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles, under the ‘Make’ category in DPP-2008, would be the first in the armored vehicle segment.
2,610 Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles were expected to be built under the project.
However, since 2015, the Indian Army’s futuristic infantry combat vehicle has been delayed over differences due to procedural issues. Also, the number of development agencies that the Ministry of Defense will have for this project is still not clear.
The earlier Expression of Interest (EoI) was issued under the DPP-2008 and it recommended at least 40 per cent content to be produced indigenously for the FCIV that is expected to have a life of 32 years.
The Indian companies that are trying to bag the order for over 2600 vehicles include Mahindra, L&T, Tata, Bharat Forge and Reliance Defense. On the other hand, some of the original equipment manufacturers based in foreign countries that have expresses interest in the project include the German Rheinmetall Group, US-based General Dynamics and Russian companies under the umbrella of Rosoboronexport.