Fresh EoI for $7.5-billion combat vehicle programme likely

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New Delhi | Updated: May 28, 2016 8:48:20 AM

The ministry of defence (MoD) is planning to issue a fresh expression of interest (EoI) for the Indian Army’s $7.5-billion futuristic infantry combat vehicle (FICV) programme.

indian army, eolThe Army re-issued the EoI after a gap of three years to 10 Indian companies and had sought responses by mid-January 2016.(Reuters)

The ministry of defence (MoD) is planning to issue a fresh expression of interest (EoI) for the Indian Army’s $7.5-billion futuristic infantry combat vehicle (FICV) programme.

“The previous EoI was issued under the DPP-2008, now the MoD plans are to re-issue fresh EoI as per the freshly amended Defence Procurement Procedure-2016 (DPP),” a highly placed source told FE.

The companies which were responding to the earlier EoI had asked for date expansion at the time, as they were waiting for the Defence Procurement Policy-2016 (DPP) recommendations, which included the recommendation for a minimum 40% indigenous content as compared to the 30% indigenous content in DPP-2008, to be finalised.

Now, the amended DPP-2016 has not only been notified, relevant chapters have also been uploaded on the MoD website. The MoD had invited 10 companies in 2015 to submit proposals to develop the FICV under the ‘Make’ procedure, with specification that two development agencies would be chosen.

They included Mahindra, Bharat Forge, Larsen & Toubro, Punj Lloyd, Tata Power, Tata Motors, Pipavav Defence, Rolta India, Titagarh Wagons and Ordnance Factory Board in July last year under the “Make” category and as per DPP-2008.

The FICV programme was approved in 2009, whose EoI was first issued in 2010, but was subsequently cancelled.

Last year, the Army re-issued the EoI after a gap of three years to 10 Indian companies and had sought responses by mid-January 2016.

For the $7.5-billion project, the Indian companies have been encouraged to form consortium (maximum five) and also tie up with as many foreign companies to bring home latest technologies on a licence basis to strengthen indigenous know-how.

According to an E&Y report ‘Eye on Defence 2016’, “The desired end product should be comprehensive indigenous solution, which can support the requirements of the Indian Army throughout the life cycle of the product.”

It further states, “The assessment of the responses of ‘Lead Member’ and his associated ‘Consortium Members’ will be on four major criteria, including a generic rule, in case of response by an individual Eol holder, the scoring will be according to vendor response submitted. In case, the response is submitted by a consortium, the total cumulative score of all members of the consortium will be considered as aggregate score of the consortium.”

An individual Eol respondent cannot, at the same time, be member of a consortium responding to the Eol.

Furthermore, a member of a particular responding; consortium cannot be member of any other Consortium responding to the Eol. The consortium will not be permitted after the submission of Eol responses until the award of a development contract for prototype development.

The cost of development of the prototype will be shared among the MoD and contenders with a 4:1 ratio. DRDO, being a technical evaluation agency, will not be competing/participating as a potential partner for any of the 40 key technologies identified by the Army in its proposal.

The ownership of any intellectual property generated from any joint development will be mutually agreed upon and may be transferable to the MoD, if required for the programme.

Under the ‘Make’ procedure, the defence ministry will choose the best two proposals. Those two companies, and the OFB, will design and develop separate FICV prototypes. The defence ministry would reimburse 80% of their expenses. No design of such major platform has been developed in the country and hence, no suitable data on cost of design and development is available for guidance.

The best prototype will then be selected, and the vendor that built it will get a manufacturing contract. About 2,600 FICVs will be needed to replace the Army’s old Russian-origin BMP-2 infantry combat vehicles

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