U.S. propose to India to develop a new APC armoured personnel carrier

According to the Indian Newspaper website of The Economic Times, United States has made a proposal to India for the development and production of a new APC (Armoured Personnel Carrier) in collaboration with Israeli Companies.

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Indian Army BMP-2 Sarath IFV tracked Infantry Fighting Vehicle (Picture source Wikipedia)

In November 2017, India’s Ministry of Defense (MoD) has published a new global Request For Information (RFI) to develop and build 1,770 armored fighting vehicles to replace the old Soviet-made T-72M main battle tanks (MBTs) in service with the Indian army under the name of Ajeya.

This new project was launched by India to design and develop an new universal tracked armoured platform that can be used for 11 different types of combat vehicles as light tracked armoured, bridge layer, self-propelled howitzers, air defense guns, artillery observation post, engineer reconnaissance vehicles, and armored ambulances.

In 1978, India began purchasing 500 T-72, T-72M and T-72M1 tanks directly from the Soviet Union in 1978. After, India was the first foreign country outside of Europe to produce the T-72 which is in service with the Indian army since 1979.

Indian defense industry has also developed its own wheeled armoured vehicle personnel carrier, the KESTREL. The vehicle was unveiled in February 2014 during the defense exhibition DefExpo in India.

The KESTREL is a 8x8 wheeled armored amphibious vehicle optimized to offer more survivability, all-terrain performance and increased lethality. The KESTREL is designed and developed indigenously with DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organization of India) in collaboration with the Indian Company TATA Motors.

In April 2016, at the edition 2016 of DefExpo, TATA Motors has showed a new variant of the Kestrel fitted with Russian BMP-2 manned combat turret armed with one 30mm stabilized 2A42 automatic cannon, co-axial 7.62 PKT machinegun and six Tucha 902V smoke grenade launchers. The 9M111 Fagot (AT-4 Spigot)/9M113 Konkurs (AT-5 Spandrel) anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM) launching unit installed on the roof top is removed.

Currently, the Indian army uses around 980 Sarath infantry fighting vehicles (a licensed copy of Soviet/Russian BMP-2), 125 command & control BMP-2K (K stands for Komandirskaya, Command post vehicle), and 350 old Soviet-made BMP-1 armed with 73mm 2A28 semi-automatic cannon.

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TATA Motors Kestrel 8x8 IFV fitted with a Soviet-made BMP-2 turret at DefeExpo 2016 (Picture Source Army Recognition)