09:45 AM, June 29, 2015
Russian Armata tank based on modular concept (Image: Russian Defense)

The Indian Army's Request for proposals (RFP) for the design and manufacture of a Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) is expected to get overwhelming response from both International and local companies.

Industry sources told that Russian, American and Europe based manufacturers were excited at the prospect of a vehicle replacing hundreds of India's T-72 tanks besides spawning armored vehicles and similar vehicles from the same platform.

Leading international firms such as Rosoboronexport of Russia, Oshkosh of the US, BAE Systems, Germany's KMW with expertise in the design and development of armored vehicles tanks are expected to join the race, the source said.

The deadline for responding to the RFI has been set for July 31. You can expect a flurry of activity from Indian and international firms who try to measure up one another to partner for this deal which could eventually run into tens of billions of dollars, the source added.

What should become easy for international firms to find local partners is that the Indian government has recently granted licenses to some 56 local companies for manufacturing defense equipment including armored vehicles, armor components, electronics and many other systems and components associated with land equipment. According to media reports Reliance Anil Ambani Group has received permission to manufacture medium tanks and howitzers.

An earlier grouse of international companies was that the pool of Indian private companies which had legal clearances to manufacture defense products was limited which hindered their ability to set up local units for offsets and manufacturing.

Globally, the new trend in land vehicles is to have a base platform upon which several types of land vehicles can be built. A recent example of this is the Armata Tank shown recently by Russia. The platform has a main battle tank, a wheeled armored vehicles and a tracked armored vehicle fitted with precision weaponry.

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