NEW DELHI: Amid the ongoing military confrontation with China, which is into its fifth month now, the Army is now seeking to upgrade its ageing BMP-2/2K infantry combat vehicles with better fire power as well as night-fighting capabilities.
The ageing Russian-origin BMP vehicles, which have anti-tank missiles, cannons and machine guns but suffer from night-blindness, have also been deployed along the LAC in eastern Ladakh to counter the build-up by the PLA.
The PLA, in fact, has pumped in additional forces after Indian soldiers pro-actively occupied multiple tactical heights in the
sector and then consolidated their positions on August 29-30, as was earlier reported by TOI.
In an initial tender issued on September 4 to upgrade the BMP-2s, the Army said: “The terrain along our borders lends itself to conduct of large-scale mechanised operations and the belligerence of our adversaries on the borders necessitate that our capabilities are adequately built up to match the threat.”
“Battlefield illumination does not limit itself to specific ammunition but also to have inherent night-fighting capability existing in each
. The present equipment of
the Mechanised Infantry
(BMP-2/2K) was inducted into service in 1985. The armament system is night blind as on date and needs to be upgraded with
, thereby fulfilling a critical operational void,” it added.
Seeking a response by mid-October, the Army said that the upgrade package must include a third-generation thermal imager-based gunner sight, third-generation thermal imager-based panoramic commander sight and a modern fire control system, among other things.