BUMAR WINS REPEAT ORDER FOR INDIAN ARV
By Bulbul Singh
10 Sep 11. Bumar of Poland won a repeat order for the supply of over 250 Armoured Recovery Vehicles (ARVs) for the Indian Army.
“The contract worth $250m is likely to be signed in the next month,” said sources Indian Defence Ministry sources.
The ARVs will be jointly produced by State-owned Bharat Earth Movers Limited (BEML) and Bumar who have a joint venture to produce a range of armament systems and supply them to the Indian army. Earlier, the plan was shelved as there was a proposal from the Indian Defence Ministry that BEML should develop its own ARV. The Indian Army has requirements for ARVs for recovering BMP-1, BMP-II, T-72, T-90, Arjun vehicles.
“BEML, in collaboration with Bumar has been producing ARVs mainly for BMPs and T-72 tanks for the last fifteen years,” Indian Army sources said. BEML is functioning more like a procurement agency, particularly for ARVs, as they have failed to indiginse the ARV technologies.
It is against this criticism that the Indian Defence Ministry is now considering developing indigenous ARVs for varieties of armour available to the Indian Army. The Indian Defence Ministry has plans to develop the ARV in the ‘Make India’ category under which Indian defence companies, in both the state-owned and private sector companies will be asked to develop the ARV prototype under a funded Programme. The ARV will be produced by a designated Indian defence company.
Whilst only domestic defence companies will be eligible under this programme, overseas companies will be involved, as their participation will be required at the technology JV level.
The ARV plan will be formalized for the T-90 and Arjun tank during the next six months, after which the prototypes will be developed.
Currently BEML is the sole manufacturers of ARVs for T-72s with technology transfer from Bumar. The Indian Army is also contemplating nominating an agency for development and production of of T-90 ARVs under the “Make India” category. The proposal is in the preliminary stage and no details have been worked out.
Meanwhile the BAE Systems and India’s Mahindra Group jointly-developed first batch of military vehicles have been delivered to the State Police of Jharkhand.
“The delivery of six Mine Protected Vehicles on August 25th marks the beginning of the serial production of MRAps at Mahindra Land Systems India’s Faridabad-based plant near Delhi,” said an executive of the company.
Mahindra Defence Systems is currently producing a variety of military vehicles for the Indian Army and para-military forces.
The Indian Army’s Requirement for specialist military vehicles is estimated to be worth over $3bn.
Currently, the Indian Army is using around 2,000 Russian BMP-1 and BMP-2 multipurpose armoured vehicles, equipped with anti-tank missiles and other weapons. The State-owned Ordnance Factory at Jabalpur produced the Jonga light vehicle, which ceased production in 1998.
Mahindra Defence, Tata Motors, Vectra Motors, Force Motors and Concord and State-owned Ordnance Factories Board which administers the 39 State-owned weapon and equipment factories here are in the running for Indian Army armoured vehicles.