Larsen & Toubro (L&T) and Bharat Forge are among those who have
submitted their bid for a $10 billion Indian defence ministry contract.
According to a news report in the Financial Express, the ministry will
shortlist two vendors who will be responsible for the supply of
Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICVs) for the Indian Army.
The defence ministry has asked only the Indian companies to submit their
bid. They will finalise the winning firms by July end, based on
technical and commercial criteria under the ‘buy & make’ category.
Only Indian firm(s) with requisite technical and financial capabilities
will be given the order and thus will be expected to build 70% of the
vehicle. The winner can opt for technology tie-ups with foreign
companies if they wish.
According to sources, the FICV is expected to be half-tracked and half-wheeled, and a combat vehicle ready for inland warfare.
Infantry combat vehicles are used as means of armoured transportation
designed to move infantrymen to the battlefield to follow up after tanks
and capture combat areas.
Infantry-based forces are common throughout the world Though these
forces have some armour they mainly rely on dismounted or motorised
infantry for the bulk of their combat power Such armies normally mount
at least per cent of their forces in armoured vehicles.
There is a requirement for 2,610 FICVs in the Indian Army, as the
existing Sarath BMP-II combat vehicles built by Ordnance Factory Board
(OFB) will be phased out from 2017, as per the news report.