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South Korea’s Hanwha Defense has confirmed its participation in the bidding process for India’s Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) project. The company has offered its advanced K21 next-generation infantry fighting vehicle (NIFV) with complete Transfer of Technology (ToT) for local manufacturing in India. This move comes as the Indian Army plans to replace its aging fleet of Soviet Union-era BMP-1 and BMP-2 infantry combat vehicles (ICVs) with modern and technologically advanced FICVs.

Earlier this year, the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) of India, chaired by Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, approved the procurement of 1,750 FICVs for the Indian Army. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) specified that the FICV should possess amphibious capabilities and be equipped with a manned turret featuring a future combat system (FCS) along with fire-and-forget top-attack anti-tank guided missiles (ATGMs).

In addition, the FICV is expected to incorporate an automatic cannon of at least 30 mm caliber, a co-axial machine gun, and a stabilised remote control weapon station (RCWS) equipped with a 12.7 mm machine gun. Active protection and laser warning systems are also required, ensuring enhanced survivability. The vehicle should have a carrying capacity of 11 soldiers, allowing for effective infantry transport and deployment.

Several Indian companies, including the state-run Armoured Vehicles Nigam Limited (AVNL) and private-sector firms such as Mahindra Defence Systems, Larsen & Toubro (L&T), and Tata Motors, are also developing FICV prototypes for the Indian Army. These companies are expected to participate in the bidding process, contributing to the indigenous defense manufacturing capability of India.

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