HomeIndian DefenceIndia-US advance talks on joint production of Stryker armoured combat vehicles

India-US advance talks on joint production of Stryker armoured combat vehicles

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India and the United States are in advanced talks for the joint manufacture of the latest generation of Stryker armoured infantry combat vehicles (ICVs) as part of their defence-industrial cooperation roadmap, as reported by Rajat Pandit in a TOI article. This initiative, if finalized, will enhance India’s defence capabilities and support its “Atmanirbhar Bharat” (self-reliant India) mission.

The Indian defence ministry is examining a three-phase plan for the proposed project. According to sources from TOI, the plan will start with a limited off-the-shelf purchase of Strykers under the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, followed by joint production in India, and eventually the co-development of its futuristic versions.

“If the Stryker project is finalized, the existing Indian capabilities in ICVs will be taken into account. Strykers will have to be customized and technologically configured for Indian terrain, including operations in high-altitude areas like eastern Ladakh and Sikkim,” a source said.

Project Phases and Requirements

The project will follow a three-phase plan: initial off-the-shelf purchase of Strykers under the US Foreign Military Sales (FMS) program, joint production in India, and co-development of future versions. The Indian Ministry of Defence is evaluating the plan to ensure the Stryker meets the operational needs of the Army’s mechanized infantry battalions and includes significant technology transfer to an Indian partner, either a public sector undertaking or a private firm.

Customization and Indigenisation

The Stryker vehicles will need customization and technological configuration for Indian terrain, including high-altitude areas like eastern Ladakh and Sikkim. This customization will consider the existing capabilities in India’s infantry combat vehicles (ICVs) and aim for high levels of indigenisation.

US Promotion and Strategic Importance

The US is actively promoting the Stryker project as part of its growing defence partnership with India. US Secretary of Defence Lloyd J. Austin highlighted the “co-production of armoured vehicles with India” during the Shangri-La Dialogue in Singapore, emphasizing the strategic importance of this collaboration. The US has secured defence deals worth around $22 billion with India since 2007.

Indian Army’s Requirements

The Indian Army requires advanced wheeled and tracked ICVs to replace its fleet of over 2,000 Russian-origin BMP-II vehicles. The Army also seeks ICVs capable of amphibious operations, although Strykers are not amphibious. The Defence Ministry is also pursuing indigenous projects to meet these needs.”The Army also needs ICVs capable of amphibious operations in large numbers as well. Strykers are not amphibious,” another source added.

Technical Specifications of the Stryker

The Stryker is an eight-wheel-drive combat vehicle developed by General Dynamics Land Systems. It features a 30 mm cannon, a 105 mm mobile gun, and bolt-on ceramic armour for enhanced protection. The vehicle, powered by a Caterpillar C7 engine with 350 horsepower, has a range of 483 kilometers and a top speed of around 100 km/h. It is designed to withstand improvised explosive devices (IEDs) better than other light military vehicles and can be transported by Chinook helicopters, which the Indian Air Force uses.

Stryker Variants

The Stryker family includes various configurations such as Infantry Carrier Vehicle (ICV), Mobile Gun System (MGS), medical evacuation vehicle, fire support vehicle, anti-tank guided missile carrier, and reconnaissance vehicle, among others. These vehicles are valued for their speed and flexibility, particularly in urban warfare and quick response scenarios.

Global Deployment and Strategic Value

The Stryker has seen action in Afghanistan and is currently used by Ukraine in its conflict with Russia. The potential deal with India would not only enhance India’s defence manufacturing industry but also strengthen its strategic defence partnership with the US.

The joint manufacture of Stryker vehicles between India and the US is a significant step in defence cooperation, aiming to bolster India’s self-reliance in military production. If the project proceeds, it will mark a milestone in India’s defence modernization efforts, ensuring the Indian Army is equipped with advanced and indigenously produced combat vehicles.

(With inputs from TOI)

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