Drdo & Private Defence Firms To Develop New Infantry Combat Vehicle With Crewless Turret

India’s Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is proceeding to develop two Advanced Armoured Platform (Tracked) (AAP-Tr) vehicles. The project, spearheaded by DRDO laboratory Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (VRDE), is expected to produce a vehicle capable of meeting Indian Army’s requirement for over 1,750 Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICV).

Two AAP-Tr technology demonstrators and four 30mm unmanned turrets will be developed by VRDE in association with an industry partner. The amphibious vehicle will be powered by an engine rated at 600-750hp with protection in the form of modular armour. The 25 ton vehicle will have provisions for integrating an Active Protection System (APS), loiter munitions and a mini UAV.

Infantry Combat Vehicle

These are required to meet specifications for FICV released by the Army in a 2021 RfI. The vehicle must be designed to mobility and dimensional specifications stated by VRDE and will have a crew of three.

The crewless turret for AAP-Tr will consist of a 30mm gun, 7.62mm coaxial machine gun, a 12.7mm remote controlled weapon station and ATGM launchers. Various sights and a fire control system will also be integrated. Four ATGMs are proposed to be housed in two twin launchers. The ATGM preferred is the Nag Mk2, which is under development.

Indian Army’s FICV RfI released in June 2021 outlined a need for about 1,750 FICVs. 55% of these would be a Gun version, 20% would be a Command version and the rest would be a Command and Surveillance version.

All three versions would be armed with a main gun of at least 30mm calibre, along with secondary gun systems. The gun version would be armed with 6 ATGMs and a man portable ground launcher. The other two versions would be armed with 4 ATGMs and 2 loiter munitions. The surveillance version would also have a mini UAV.

Many private Indian firms such as TATA Motors, Larsen & Toubro, Mahindra, Bharat Forge and others are expected to be contenders for the VRDE AAP-Tr. Another DRDO laboratory Combat Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (CVRDE) has selected Ashok Leyland as the development and production partner for its 600hp engine designed to power vehicles such as FICVs.

CVRDE is also developing a hard-kill APS which could be used in FICV and the New Generation Main Battle Tank (NGMBT) being developed by CVRDE.

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