Tentatively named Mark I, the vehicle will help modernise Indian Army's infantry frontier which currently relies on BMP II, an infantry personnel carrier with a 30 mm gun.
Make in India boost for Indian Army: A fully indigenous Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) is being developed by Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and Defence Research Development Oranisation (DRDO) for the use of the Indian Army. Tentatively named Mark I, the vehicle will help modernise Indian Army’s infantry frontier which currently relies on BMP II, an infantry personnel carrier with a 30 mm gun. The joint collaboration between the Ordnance Factory Board and the DRDO will yield results in a period of three to five years, PTI reported.
Advanced features which were at the drawing board stage will now be included in the FICV, OFB chairman Hari Mohan was quoted as saying. He also said that DRDO and OFB, which were earlier working separately on the project, decided to join forces to develop the project. Mohan further said that the specifications and features of the project will keep advancing as it is an evolving project. When the project attains a satisfactory stage in tune with the feedback of Indian Army officials, the factory will begin production of the infantry vehicle, he said.
Terming the name of the infantry vehicle tentative, Mohan said that Mark I will be ready in 3-5 years whereas its sequel Mark II can take up to a decade in its development. In accordance with the Make in India initiative of the Modi government, most of the parts to be used in the production will be developed in India barring some minor sub-systems, Mohan informed.
With enhanced firepower, the vehicle will boast of an auto-grenade launcher with a range of 1,500 metres, an OFB official was quoted as saying in the report. It will also include an anti-tank guided missile capability which can fire missiles within a range of 4000 metres with automatic command, the official added. A gun control system linked with a thermal imager fire control is another big ticket feature that makes the FICV highly advanced, the official said.
Upbeat with an increase in defence exports in recent years, OFB has set a target of exports worth Rs 500 crore a year in the next two to three years. OFB exported products worth Rs 240 crore last year in comparison to Rs 15-20 crore mark it registered in the preceding years, the OFB chairman said.