Ministry of Defence (MoD) had given nod in May 2017 to three companies for the Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) project, say sources

Ordinance factory board, Larsen and Toubro (L&T) and a consortium of TATA Motors and Bharat Forge have been shortlisted by the ministry to make prototypes. Integrated Defence Staff, an in house panel that provides inputs to Defence Ministry on capital acquisitions, gave a go ahead to the companies last week.

Defence Procurement Board will give the final nod for FICV selection next week. One of the prototypes will be selected and then there will be bidding for the final project.

The project size is estimated at Rs 60,000 crore for 2,600 plus FICVs and the entire life cycle cost will be at least Rs 1,000 crore over the next 15-20 years.

For the completion of the project the three companies will be given around Rs 3,000-4,000 crore.

The FICV is a high-mobility armoured battle vehicle for ferrying infantry men.

It will replace the Army’s fleet of 2,610 Russian-designed BMP series armed vehicles in operation since 1980.

Once a prototype is successfully tested and validated, around 2,610 such systems or upgraded ones will be procured by the MoD and the delivery will be in a phased manner.

These prototypes would be evaluated for their performance in plain and desert terrains.