Indian Army is all set to upgrade the capability of its 1,900-odd infantry combat vehicles (ICVs) to enable its troopers to thrust into enemy territory without coming under hostile fire. The upgrade is estimated to cost `8,000 crore.
According to Army officers, the entire fleet of the Russian-origin ICVs, also called as BMPs, would be modernised under the programme. “In the ICV fleet, the vehicle’s armament and firepower capability are being upgraded with the latest generation of fire control system, twin missile launchers and commander’s thermal imaging panoramic sights,” the officers said.
“These ICVs will also be equipped with the latest generation anti-tank guided missile and automatic grenade launchers,” they added. The proposal is to upgrade the armament of the BMP-2 and BMP-2K fleet to BMP-2M capabilities and provide new power pack for the entire fleet. The new power pack with 380 horsepower capability would enhance the ICVs’ cross-country mobility, floatation and gradient negotiating capability, apart from mounting more lethal weapon systems on board.
“All of this will make the ICVs robust killer machines,” the officers said. The BMP-2 and BMP-2K, which run on Russian-origin UTD-20 engines, are the main ICVs of the Army’s Mechanised Infantry regiments. The ICVs are used for breaching enemy defences and for troopers to gain entry into enemy territory with protection.