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04:01 AM, October 7, 2015
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Indian Army’s $15 Billion Infantry Combat Vehicle Program Deadline Extended
Tata FICV model at Defexpo 2011

The deadline for Indian Army’s INR 1 Trillion (USD 15 billion) Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) program has been extended for 10 Indian companies to submit project reports.

The earlier deadline of Oct 15 to submit expression of interest for the FICV project has been extended by three months and the new deadline will be 15 January 2016 at the request of several participating companies seeking clarification on the program, Janes quoted an unnamed official source as saying Monday.

They demanded additional details on forming joint ventures or consortia with foreign original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to design and build 2,610 FICVs to replace the Indian Army's fleet of Soviet-era BMP-1 and BMP-2s.

The Indian Army had issued a Request for Information (RFI) in June 2015 to design and develop a new generation combat vehicle platform called the Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV).

The RFI is for the development of a base platform for the Main Battle Tank which is planned to replace the existing T-72 tanks in the Armored Corps. It is also planned to subsequently develop other need-based variants on this platform.

There was speculation that the FICV program had been abandoned following the issue of an RFI for the future ready combat vehicle (FRCV) a fortnight ago. The FRCV program proposes the design and development of a modular system of vehicles to replace the T-72 tanks and spawn a host of variants including an armored fighting vehicle. Tata Motors is one of several Indian and foreign countries invited by Vehicle Research & Development Establishment (VRDE) to co-develop chassis, propulsion unit and weapon system for a wheeled armored amphibious platform under the FICV (wheeled) program.

The FICV was the Indian MoD's first program where local companies would be partly funded for the development of defense products.

Two consortium had been selected, one led by the Mahindra group and another by the Tata group. Both consortia had exhibited models of their respective vehicles at the DEFEXPO exhibition in Delhi four years ago. However, the MoD had been silent on the selection since then. The Army has a requirement for 100 wheeled ICVs for OOAC (Out of area contingency), counter-insurgency and riverine terrain (NE) operations.

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