NEW DELHI: The Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) project worth about Rs 60,000 crore which began nearly a decade ago could finally progress this month. A panel of independent expert monitors (IEMs), appointed by the defence ministry, has found that the evaluation process for selecting firms to produce prototypes of the FICV is correct and the project should move forward.
The panel also said that a complaint filed by Mahindra is unfounded and was lodged to stall the procurement procedure, a top ministry source said. A MoD department dealing with the project had questioned the evaluation process at a late stage delaying the project. In addition, the complain from Mahindra, one of the contenders, added to this delay.
Experts say that it is ultimately the Army which has been adversely affected with the delays. It desperately wants to replace its Soviet-era BMP-2 infantry combat vehicle fleet. So, the FICV program has to progress because it will not just be a lethal platform, but also be the base for other defence R&D programs and a test of the Make-in-India initiative. To read full article… click here!