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    An Indian Border Security Force (BSF) soldier patrols along a fence at the India-Pakistan border in R.S Pora, southwest of Jammu, on October 3, 2016

    India Envisions Early Deployment of Modern Tanks Along Chinese, Pakistani Border

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    The Indian Army chief has said that ultra-modern armored vehicles are the need of the hour for India to be prepared for hybrid warfare along the Pakistani-Chinese border.

    New Delhi (Sputnik) — The Indian Army is looking to induct modern tanks and ICVs (Infantry Combat Vehicles) from 2025-2027. Indian Army Chief General Bipin Rawat has stressed the need for platforms that are lighter in weight so that they can be operated in complex terrain, as well as be integrated with other systems.

    "Whatever be the future armored vehicle we are looking at, we must have the capability to operate on the western border and the northern border. Whatever equipment we are going to introduce must be capable of interoperability on both fronts," General Rawat said during a Future Armored Vehicles India 2017 seminar in New Delhi.

    "It is a very complex system we are looking at and we cannot make any mistakes," he added.

    The army chief's remark came days after the Indian Army issued a global Request for Information (RFI) for the development and manufacturing of Future Ready Combat Vehicles (FRCVs) under a strategic partnership model.

    "We will have to look at technology to reduce the weight of our war-fighting machines. We will have to overcome terrain with maneuvering space reducing… even down south in the desert, in that sector hardening of the desert has started," the army chief added.

    In the RFI, the Indian Army has specified the requirement of a 50-ton "new generation, state-of-the-art combat vehicle platform." The proposed new tanks are not only meant to replace the vintage T-72 tank fleet, but will also form the base platform for the main battle tank.

    It is estimated that replacing approximately 2,400 T-72 tanks will cost India approximately $8 billion. The procurement will involve the transfer of technology of at least 25 components including engine technology, automatic transmission system, tracks and suspension systems, energy storage technology, gun barrel metallurgy, advance technology tube launched ATGM, third generation thermal imaging sights, armor piercing fin stabilized discarding sabot (APFSDS) projectiles, ammunition for tanks with DoP>650 mm, full solution fire control systems, among others.

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