INDIA IN GLOBAL MARKET TO BUY APC AND LIGHT TANKS
By Bulbul Singh
16 Nov 09. The Indian Army is on a global hunt to buy Armoured Personnel Carriers (APC) for deployment in varying terrains. Last month, the Indian Army went overseas to purchase light Combat Tanks.
Currently, the Indian Army is using Russian BMP-1 and BMP-2 multipurpose armoured vehicles, equipped with anti tank missiles and other weapons.
The Indian government has sent RFIs to defence companies in Europe, United States, Russia and Ukraine, based on which an RFP will be issued by early 2010. “The Indian defence ministry has issued the RFI to make a realistic RFP as the Qualitative Requirements contained in the RFP were unrealistic.” said a senior Indian defence ministry official.
Around 100 APCs worth over $300m along with varieties of ammunition are to be procured.
The wheeled APCs are being procured for the Indian Army which should have high power-to-weight ratio, good road speed, good cross country mobility and should protect against mines, IEDs small arms, grenades and artillery splinters and should be air-portable with in-service aircraft. Besides having good observation facilities, the APC should be able to fire arms from within the vehicle.
The key features will include: mobility, firing on the move, night fighting capability, modern and secure communications system, amphibious capability, swimming ability, self-recovery and obstacle crossing capability.
The vehicle should have a weapon mix of cannon, coaxially mounted machine gun, automatic grenade launcher and should be able to carry 10 personnel and operate in ambient temperatures conditions of -15 to +48 degrees Celsius.
The APC should be able to achieve minimum speed of 70kph hour on road, and have a cross-country speed of 40kph and have a cruising range on road of minimum 500kms and 250kms cross-country.
The APC should be capable of mounting an anti-tank guided missile system in service with the Indian Army and the 25-40 mm AGL gun should be able to fire HE with an ammunition carriage of not less than 300 rounds.
Last month the Indian Army sent RFIs to overseas defence companies to purchase 300 light tanks, the first such tanks to be bought by the Indian Army which has so far relied only on heavy tanks. The light tanks would be deployed in high altitude reaches along the Indo-Chinese border. The light tanks needed will weigh less than 25 tonnes, compared to existing tanks weighing over 45 tonnes.
The purchase of 300 light wheeled tanks and 100 APCs will be completed within 15 months.