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The Indian Army is poised to reassess the technical requirements for its upcoming Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) Main Battle Tanks, which are intended to replace the ageing Soviet-Union-supplied T-72 MBTs. This reevaluation is a response to the evolving nature of warfare, particularly in light of the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, which has highlighted new threats to armoured vehicles.

According to sources familiar with the matter, told, the FRCV program faces emerging challenges, with major tanks suffering losses due to low-cost loitering ammunition and industrial-grade hexacopters dropping drone bombs on them. These threats have underscored the need for a comprehensive reassessment of the technical specifications for the FRCV to ensure that it can effectively counter these new dangers.

The Indian Army initiated the FRCV program in 2021 with a Request For Information (RFI) to address the evolving landscape of warfare. The RFI emphasized the need for the FRCV to act as a versatile weapon platform, equipped with cutting-edge technology to meet the evolving operational requirements and enhance the Indian Army’s overall operational effectiveness, particularly in response to emerging threats across diverse terrains.

The FRCV program aims to provide the Indian Army with multiple options for rapid operational deployment, enabling it to conduct a wide range of operations in response to diverse threats and equipment profiles from adversaries. As a long-term asset expected to be in service for the next 35-45 years, the FRCV must be designed to deliver maximum lethality, survivability, and agility on the battlefield.

A key component of the FRCV program is the implementation of a fully digitized data backbone architecture, which will facilitate next-generation operational capabilities and automation. The program is expected to be inducted by 2030 and will encompass performance-based logistics, technology transfer, engineering support packages, and other maintenance and training requirements.

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