India has send out a Request for Information (RfI)
State-of-art battle tanks to replace T-72
The Army is planning to replace its existing
fleet of Soviet-origin main battle tanks, which have been in service
since the mid-80s, with a family of modular armoured-fighting vehicles
that would be developed in collaboration with the industry.
“The Indian Army is planning to design and develop a new generation,
state-of-the-art combat vehicle platform for populating its armoured
fighting vehicle fleet in the coming decade. This vehicle, which will be
called the future ready combat vehicle (FRCV), will form the base
platform for the main battle tank which is planned to replace the
existing T-72 tanks in the Armoured Corps,” a request for information
(RFI) of the Army stated.
The army envisions to begin inducting the new platforms by 2025-27. It
is also planned to subsequently develop other need-based variants like
bridge-layers, anti-mine trawlers, command posts, armoured ambulances,
engineer vehicles, self-propelled gun platforms and recovery vehicles on
The Army looking towards developing a new family of armoured vehicles
also indicates that the main battle tank, Arjun, developed by the
Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) does not meet its
future requirements, even though orders have been placed to equip some
regiments it. The Army and the DRDO have been at loggerheads about the
performance and capability of the Arjun.
At present the T-72 and the T-90, both procured from Russia and
assembled in India, are the mainstay of the Indian Armoured Corps. The
T-72 has undergone several upgrades to enhance their capability. The
T-90 began entering service in the last decades.
The RFI also states that a ‘future’ combat platform design must cater to
‘future’ battlefield environment and technological possibilities. To
address the future scenario and the envisaged force profile, the FRCV,
which would be in the “medium tank” category, needs to be developed on a
modular concept with a high degree of flexibility in a manner that, as a
tank platform, it can address the varying requirements of different
terrain and weather configurations. At the same time it can provide the
base on which a ‘family of vehicles’, catering to the operational needs
of various arms of the Army.
The new tank’s firepower should be well matched to contemporary tanks in
engagement ranges, all weather day/night fighting capability, depth of
penetration and variety of ammunition. It should have very high
Source: Jane's IHS, The Tribune
Author's opinion: If the development of the new tank/multi-purpose vehicle will be another iteration of the flawed Arjun development, then I see bad times ahead.
Just recently news report mentioned that a staggering 75% of all Arjuns are grounded and honestly, even in the improved Arjunk Mk 2 configuration, the tank won't be competitive on the modern main battle tank market. The armor layout is limited, the ammunition storage questionable, the gun is under-performing and the engine is outdated.
Seeing India try again to develop a modern armored vehicle (not only a single one, but a multi-purpose plattform), while still habving troubles with their Arjun tank is not comprehensible.
The Arjun's development started in 1974, first tanks entered service in 2007. So, I guess we will see how well the FRCV tank component performs in 2048.