HomeIndian ArmyMoD to procure 590 FRCV for the Indian Army under Phase-1

MoD to procure 590 FRCV for the Indian Army under Phase-1

Source : Indian Defence Analysis

MoD to procure 590 FRCV for the Indian Army under Phase-1
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MoD to procure 590 FRCV for the Indian Army under Phase-1

On 27th April 2023, two major ‘Approval in Principle’ was given by Ministry of Defense. The first one is for Future Ready Combat Vehicle- Armoured Fighting Vehicle (FRCV-AFV) and second one is for 1200-1500 HP Engine with Associated Automotive Peripherals (Power Pack).

The Indian army’s quest for Procurement of Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) began with an RFI in June 2021 which has been now accorded ‘Approval in Principle’ to be progressed under the Make-I Category with a minimum of 50% Indigenous Content. The FRCV would be in-service for the next 35-45 years and therefore should be designed to deliver the highest lethality survivability and agility on the battlefield combined with a fully digitised data backbone architecture to enable Next-generation operational capabilities and automation. The Ministry of Defence intends to procure 590 FRCV in the first phase.

MoD has outlined detailed specifications that is expected in the India’s next generation main battle tank which we will be discussing in detail.

FRCV General Feature

The FRCV will be manned by crew of 4 and will have combat Weight of 55tons plus 5%. Its main gun should be minimum of 120 calibre capable of firing the following ammunition an engagement of targets in static and dynamic mode by day and night. The main gun should be able to fire APFSDS, HEAT & HE rounds to a minimum distance of 2500m, 1600m & 5000m respectively. It should also be able to fire anti-tank and anti-helicopter missiles from 500m to 5000m. The Main gun & turret should be 360 degrees traversable. Its secondary armament will have 7.62 mm co-axial machine gun and 12.7mm Anti-Aircraft Machine Gun (AAMG).

The ammunition should be auto- loaded with minimum 16 rounds ready for auto loading along with provision for Semi-Automatic and Manual Loading. All ammunition should be stored in easily accessible containerised compartments (Bustle Loader), with suitable safety measures like Blow-Off Panels.

FRCV should employ LMs (Loiter Munitions) in conjunction with surveillance drones (compatible with in-service surveillance drones with suitable human interface) as a system from the platform.

FRCV FCS

MoD has outlined the requirement of FCS (Fire Control System) to be connected with all weapons and targeting sights. It should be fully digital and seamlessly engage targets. It should have the capability to incorporate AI decision support and features such as Hunter Killer mode, Killer Killer Mode, Automatic Target Detection & Tracking System (ATDTS), Battlefield Management System, (BMS) & Identification of Friend and Foe (IFF).

Hunter-Killer Mode refers to Multiple Target Tracker with capability for tank commander to search and queue up targets for auto designation to Gunner. In Killer-Killer Mode the Tank Commander and Combat Operator should have the capability to engage targets in addition to the Gunner with the main gun and also with the secondary weapons / LM in case the Gunner is engaged in operating the main gun.

Active protection Feature

When we talk about the next generation main battle tank the very first question is asked on APS. The FRCV will have 360-degree protection with a dedicated Top Attack Protection System. It will have soft kill systems for detection & disruption against hostile element’s laser designation, ranging, missile launch, missile homing etc. It will also have hard kill systems to destroy/ deflect incoming projectiles.

Passive Protection

Talking about the passive protection, it is expected to have a protection equivalent to minimum 800mm RHA in frontal 60⁰ Arc and minimum 600mm equivalent RHA with suitable light weight solutions for all round protection. The protection at Belly of tank will be able to survive Improvised Explosive Device (IED) & mine blasts of minimum 15 kgs of TNT. It will have protection against top attack munitions equivalent to protection with minimum 600mm RHA by suitable light weight solution without compromising the silhouette. It should also be capable of incorporating modular armour including Explosive Reactive Armour (ERA)/ Non-Explosive Reactive Armour NERA which could be scalable. It should be resistant to cyber warfare with capability to operate in a contested Electromagnetic (EM) spectrum and intense Electronic Warfare (EW) environment.

Mobility

The main battle tank is expected to be powered by an indigenous Power Pack as MoD has given AIP for 1200-1500 HP Engine with Associated Automotive Peripherals (Power Pack). The FRCV is expected to have minimum 1500 HP engine with a minimum life of 750 engine hours without overhaul. It should have P/W Ratio of not less than 27:1 HP/Ton. It should have operational range of not less than 400 Km in cross country/ desert terrain and 500 Km on road. MoD to procure 590 FRCV for the Indian Army under Phase-1 MoD to procure 590 FRCV for the Indian Army under Phase-1 MoD to procure 590 FRCV for the Indian Army under Phase-1 MoD to procure 590 FRCV for the Indian Army under Phase-1 MoD to procure 590 FRCV for the Indian Army under Phase-1 MoD to procure 590 FRCV for the Indian Army under Phase-1 MoD to procure 590 FRCV for the Indian Army under Phase-1 MoD to procure 590 FRCV for the Indian Army under Phase-1 IgMp

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