Satheesh Reddy, Chairman of DRDO and Secretary, Department of Defence Research and Development, told the media that India is looking at private companies in India for the development of the Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) and the Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) projects.

The Indian Army is on the verge of taking a big leap for its armored formations and mechanized forces with these two projects and already has issued EoI and RFI for the same. The FICV program is to replace the aging four-decade-old fleet of BMP-I and BMPII that are in service with the Indian Army and these infantry combat vehicles and are still manufactured by the Ordnance Factory Board.

DRDO is yet to officially showcase its design for the proposed FICV program but the private sector companies that are keen to submit their design of FICV are still keen on acquiring most of the systems and subsystems from the associate laboratories of the DRDO that have developed them for the Whap and Arjun MBT programs.

The Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) program is to replace aging T-72B Main Battle tanks that were acquired in the early 70s with 1800 units still in service. Army plans to start induction of selected FRCV design from 2030 onwards with over more decade long production run proposed to replace all of T-72B fleet along with some of the earlier T-90S tank.

One of the proposed FRCV designs was showcased a few years back but it is not the final design as the Army is still working out its requirements with a big push to develop locally most of the main weapons systems in the country, till is unlikely that India will be keen in acquiring Main Battle Tank designed and developed by Russia or western country.

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