The Indian Army has been using Russian made BMP-2 armored infantry combat vehicle (ICV) for many years, but since 1990s New Delhi is determined to build its own Future ICV (FICV). Two programs are in development – a weapon carrier (tank destroyer) called NAMICA and an AIFV technology demonstrator known as ‘Abhai’. However both programs are at limbo, facing a myriad of technical challenges and rejections from the services they are designed to serve.
This delay has opened an opportunity for BMP-3 to India, as a substitute or long term ‘stop gap’ positioned to replace the rapidly obsoleting BMP-2. If India decides to cancel its long overdue FICV, the BMP-3 could eventually take its place as India’s future ICV.
The Indian government is expected to fund 80% of the planned development cost but, although FICV is already four years in the making, no progress has been reported yet. The FICV program is projected to cost around $10 Billion for 2,600 vehicles.