Army Revives FICV 'Make In India' Program, 10 Indian Firms In The Fray  

By Vishal Thapar

NEW DELHI: The Indian Army has sought to revive the Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) project by widening the field for competition and issuing an Expression of Interest (EOI) to 10 Indian companies on July 16, 2015.

Arming India has exclusively learned from highly placed sources in the Indian Army that the 10 entities, which have been asked to respond to the EOI with FICV concepts are the government-owned Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) and the private sector companies -- Tata Power, Tata Motors, Larsen & Toubro, Mahindra, Rolta, Pipavav, Bharat Forge, Punj Lloyd and Titagarh Wagons.

This is a 'Make' project under the Defense Procurement Procedure in which select Indian companies will compete by presenting a concept.

The Down-selected companies or consortia will be designated as development agencies to prepare a prototype for trials before award of contract. The invited companies have been given 90 days to respond to the EOI, sources said.

In their respective responses, these companies will spell out details of technology tie-ups and consortia, which will bid for the contract. These companies are free to select foreign partners for design, technology and funding. One or more companies or consortia may finally be selected for production of the approved prototype.

This futuristic armored vehicle will cater to the needs of the contemporary battlefield. It will replace the Russian BMPs in service with the Mechanized Forces of the Indian Army.

An earlier attempt at the FICV program was aborted after allegations of irregularities during the tenure of the previous UPA government. This second attempt at making an indigenous FICV will be one of the most keenly watched 'Make in India' program in the defense sector.

A similar 'Make' program for the Army's Battlefield Management System (BMS) has evoked a lot of interest. The Ministry of Defense has down-selected two industry consortia - Tata Power and Larsen & Toubro, and Bharat Electronics Limited (BEL) and Rolta - as development agencies for the BMS program.








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