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A significant milestone has been achieved in India’s quest for self-reliance in military technology. The indigenously developed 600 hp engine, a joint effort between the Combat Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (CVRDE) and Ashok Leyland, has successfully completed over 100 hours of testing since its inauguration in December 2021. This engine, designed from scratch with advanced technologies, is expected to play a crucial role in powering India’s Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) program.

The CVRDE-designed engine boasts compactness, efficiency, and lightness, thanks to the incorporation of advanced technologies. This makes it comparable to contemporary battle tank engines and ideally suited for the demanding battlefield requirements of the FICV program.

The FICV program aims to replace the aging Soviet-era BMP-II infantry combat vehicles that have served the Indian Army for decades. These BMP-II’s, while essential in tackling border transgressions, lack crucial capabilities like night-fighting and anti-drone measures. The new FICV will address these shortcomings, offering a modern and versatile platform for the Indian infantry.

In 2022, the Defence Acquisition Council granted Acceptance of Necessity (AoN) for the FICV program under the “Buy (Indian-IDDM)” category. This category promotes domestically manufactured equipment with at least 50% indigenous content. While the initial AoN details didn’t specify the exact number or production rate of FICVs, it does require a 60:40 split between the lowest and second-lowest commercial bids, ensuring cost-effectiveness. Additionally, opportunities for participation were extended to previously non-responding vendors, fostering wider industry engagement.

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