- The Indian Army has taken a two-pronged approach, which includes replacing old platforms with more modern ones and improving the capabilities of the equipment they already have.
- The Canister Launched Loiter Munition System is something that is going to be bought and put on the BMP II/Carrier Mortar Tracked (CMT) chassis.
In order to get ready for future wars, the Indian Army is working to modernise its Mechanized Infantry battalions by upgrading more than 2,500 Russian Infantry Combat Vehicle BMP IIs. The BMP II, which is the most powerful and powerful weapon platform, will now have the ability to fight at night, a powerful engine, and anti-drone measures.
Sources in the Defense and Security establishment say that the BMP II, which has been in use since the 1980s, will continue to be the backbone of the Mechanized Infantry Unit. At the moment, they are able to move while firing rockets, mortars, and missiles. They can also carry troops safely.
“To modernise the Mechanized Infantry in line with the Atmanirbhar Bharat in Defense initiative, the Army plans to buy specialised technology and make sure it can work with other arms.”
Upgraded BMP II will have
The BMP II will get improvements to its Fire Control System, Automatic Target Tracker, Gunner Main Sight, Laser Range Finder, and Commander Panoramic Sight. As part of plans to improve them, Thermal Imager, which is based on Driver Night Sight and Commander Thermal Imaging (TI) Sight for the Commander of BMP-2/2K, will be added to their night vision. Specialized ammunition that explodes in midair and can bring down drones and loitering munitions of a certain size will be built into the BMP II.
Three Indian Companies in race
Under the iDEX (Innovation for Defense Excellence) initiative, Big Bang Boom, Tonbo Imaging, and Dimensions NXG were found to be qualified. Tonbo Imaging, a new company based in Bengaluru, was the first to finish the iDEX Challenge. It has now proven and successfully deployed an operational system.
In the case of the BMP II upgrade, trials have been delayed because the Indian Army wanted to avoid a single-vendor situation. This is because one of the companies in the race offered a system that was just a concept, and another’s system didn’t work right.
The tests started in Hyderabad at the beginning of this month. The “see through armour” would be the biggest improvement to the current BMP II. This means that the troops inside can see everything going on outside, day or night. “This is a big step forward in technology because it will make people more aware of their surroundings,” the source said.
The new BMP will now have magnetic trackers and cameras that will be built into the helmet display. What’s the meaning? According to another source in the defence and security sector, the commander will be able to see images of his surroundings on the inside of the tanks as if he were looking through the armour. This will be done by combining the helmet display with the cameras. This is possible because of the magnetic tracker, which follows the head’s movement and shows videos from the same direction.
Sources said that the head-mounted display can also connect to the GPS system for precise manoeuvring and figuring out what’s going on. The commander will be able to see more of the possible targets and threats.
Deployed in eastern Ladakh
In 2020, Financial Express Online said that the Indian Army had put BMP2s where the Galwan Valley and the Shyok River meet to scare off the Chinese troops. They were put up in the most important places, like the DSDBO road and the road leading to the DBO.
Even after several rounds of military, diplomatic, and political talks, the Indian and Chinese armies are still in a standoff at several points along the Line of Actual Control in eastern Ladakh.
In the last 40 years, the Indian Army’s Mechanised Infantry has shown that it can be used in both traditional and non-traditional operations. It has done well in high altitude areas like Eastern Ladakh and Sikkim, as well as in the plains of Punjab and the deserts of Rajasthan. And showed its worth in amphibious operations and jobs for the United Nations.
The BMP 2 is used by the Indian Army. It is made in India by the Ordnance Factory Board, and there are plans to include private sector companies in the process of making it. Everything about the BMP 2s that are being made in India says “Made in India,” but they can’t see in the dark. What does this mean for the BMP? “When it’s dark, there’s smoke, fog, or dust, the BMP can’t work because it literally goes blind,” the source said.
While the BMP II is being updated, the Indian Army is working on the Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV). This programme was put on hold, but it has been brought back and will eventually replace the BMPs, which were made in the Soviet Union.
The Indian Army wants to replace BMP-IIs with about 480 FICVs that were made in India. They will soon ask the government to approve AoN. (Acceptance of Necessity). In June 2021, the Indian Army sent out an RFI for the long-delayed FICV for the third time.
“The army will get the acceptance of necessity (AoN) for the FICVs from the defence acquisition council as soon as possible. We are working on plans to update both tracked and wheeled vehicles at the same time. There have already been a few approvals,” the second official said.
More about the planned modernisation
The Indian Army has taken a two-pronged approach, which includes replacing old platforms with more modern ones and improving the capabilities of the equipment they already have. This will be done by making upgrades that improve their ability to work at night, their intelligence, lethality, and surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities.
As part of modernising the Mechanized Infantry, plans call for giving it missiles that can kill beyond visual range (BVR) and the Fire and Forget Anti-Tank Guided Missiles as well (ATGMs).
The Canister Launched Loiter Munition System is something that is going to be bought and put on the BMP II/Carrier Mortar Tracked (CMT) chassis.
Anti-drone capabilities will be added to the equipment that is already in use, and changes are being made to the automatic 30 mm Cannon and co-axially mounted 7.62 mm Machine Gun’s aerial sights so that they can better use their ability to stabilise and engage aerial targets (PKT).
The Nag Missile System is something that is going to be bought for Reconnaissance and Support (Tracked) Battalions (NAMIS). The Ministry of Defense changed the AoN for 13 Nag Missile Carrier (NAMICA) and 293 Nag Missiles last month.
AoN for 177 Infantry combat vehicle, Command (ICV Comd) was given on July 29, 2022.
AoN has been given 105 New Wheeled Armoured Fighting Vehicles to replace the Soviet-made BRDM reconnaissance vehicles (WhAFV).
New Wheeled Infantry Combat Vehicle for Standard Mechanized Infantry Battalions (Wheeled) (Wh ICV).
Last month, an RFI was sent out for a Light Armoured Multi-Purpose Vehicle (LAMV) to replace the current modified Maruti Gypsy. The LAMV will give the Recce Platoon better mobility and protection.