The Indian Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) Saturday approved the purchase of 362 BMP-2 “Sarath” infantry combat vehicles worth $293 million.
The Indian Army has more than 1500 BMP-2 vehicles currently operational in various roles, such as armored ambulance, armored vehicle tracked light repair, armored amphibious dozer (AAD), armoured engineer reconnaissance vehicle (AERV), NBC reconnaissance vehicle (NBCRV), carrier mortar tracked, and unmanned reconnaissance vehicle.
In 2013, the Indian Army had sought to upgrade its entire Boyevaya Mashina Pekhoty-2 (BMP-2)/2K infantry combat vehicle (ICV) fleet in an effort to enhance their capability to address operational requirements.
Upgrades included integration of latest generation fire control system, twin missile launchers and commander's thermal imaging panoramic sights, anti- tank guided missiles, as well as automatic grenade launchers.
The second-generation amphibious infantry fighting vehicle (IFV) is manufactured at the Ordinance Factory Board, Medak in Telangana under license from Russia.
The BMP-2 has a welded steel enlarged turret in the center with periscopes. A 9P135M launcher installed on it is capable of firing with the 9M111 as well as 9M113M anti-tank missiles.
The vehicle also has other additions such as the TNP-165A designator and TKN-3B binocular used for precision targeting. The 30mm 2A42 auto cannon fitted can fire 200 t0 550 rounds in every minute as per the requirement in comparison to BMP-1.
The AP-T ammunition as well as APDS-t tungsten ammunition has penetration distances of 15 mm and 25 mm respectively. A 7.62mm PKT machine gun installed on the vehicle and is mounted with ammunition of about 2000 rounds. BMP-2 is also equipped with surface to air missiles as well as air to air missiles. The engine in the BMP-2 is much heavier as compared to that in the BMP-1 fighting vehicle.