India to produce 152 more BMP 2 tracked armored IFV
India’s defense industrial conglomerate Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) will produce under license an additional batch of 156 BMP-2 Sarath infantry fighting vehicles (IFVs) for the country’s military, the OFB’s press department announced on May 30, 2020.
“The Indian Ministry of Defense MoD approves the procurement of 156 BMP-2 IFV armored tracked vehicles from Ordnance Factory Metak (OFM), a unit under OFB,” said the press department in a tweet. The OFB did not detail the type of the BMP-family IFV to be bought; however, the OFM is known to have been producing BMP-2s under a Soviet/Russian license since the late 1980s.
According to the OFM’s official portfolio, the BMP-2 Sarath (the Indian designation of the baseline BMP-2 IFV — TASS) is powered by a 300-hp engine, producing a road speed of up to 65 km/h and a swimming speed of up to 7 km/h. The vehicle runs over a 35° slope and crosses a 0.7 m trench, the manufacturer claims. “Due to its low weight, BMP-2 Sarath can be easily transported by an airlifter,” said a spokesperson for the OFM. The IFV’s armament suite comprises a 30 mm automatic cannon, a coaxial 7.62 mm general-purpose machinegun (GPMG), a 2nd-generation anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), and several smoke grenade launchers. “The BMP-2 Sarath can engage both land and low-flying aerial targets,” said the OFM’s spokesperson. According to the enterprise’s portfolio, the IFV’s protection has been additionally reinforced with a disruptive camouflage coating.
The plant also produces a number of BMP-2-based systems, including medical evacuation (medevac) vehicle, a self-propelled mortar, a chemical, illogical, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) reconnaissance vehicle, and an armoured engineer vehicle.
The OFM has been manufacturing the BMP-2 since 1987. During the DefExpo 2020 defense show held in Lucknow (Uttar Pradesh, India) in early February, a spokesperson for Russia’s Federal Service for Military-Technical Cooperation (FSVTS) told the TASS news agency that India had produced some 2,500 IFVs. In 1984, India obtained a license to produce 3,000 BMP-2s.
According to the Military Balance 2020 handbook published by the London-based International Institute for Strategic Studies (IISS), the Indian Army (IA) operates some 2,400 BMP-2 and BMP-2K (‘K’ for Command, Komandnaya) Sarath IFVs. The Indian MoD made its previous order for the licensed BMP-2 in February 2017: the country’s military procured some 150 vehicles in the basic configuration.
India is also planning to modernize a large number of its existing BMP-2 IFVs. An updated variant of the Sarath with updated electronic subsystems broke its cover at the DefExpo 2020 defence exhibition.
The baseline BMP-2 was produced by the Kurgan Machine-Building Plant (Kurganmashzavod, now a subsidiary of Rostec’s High-Precision Weapons). According to the manufacturer, the vehicle weighs some 14.0 t, has a crew of three, and transports seven servicemen. It is powered by a 300-hp UTD-20 multifuel engine, producing a road speed of up to 65 km/h and a swimming speed of up to 7 km/h. The IFV’s average road speed reaches 40-50 km/h. The BMP-2 is armed with a 2A42 30 mm automatic cannon, a Kalashnikov PKTM 7.62 mm GPMG, and a ready-use 9M113/9M113M Konkurs/Konkurs-M (NATO reporting name: AT-4 Spandrel/AT-4b Spandrel) ATGM system. The IFV carries 500 30 mm rounds, 2,000 7.62 mm cartridges, and four missiles.
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