Armor: Indian BMP-2 Stalled By Politics

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April 18, 2016: Since 2009 the Indian Army has been trying to find local firms able to upgrade many of the 1,600 BMP-2 IFVs it has in service. BMP-2 is a Russian design built under license in India since the late 1980s. India is still building BMP-2s but wants to upgrade new and existing models of their version with new engines, electronics, weapons and armor protection.

Getting someone to do the upgrades has so far proved impossible because most of the new tech needed for the upgrades must be imported and India insists on transfer of ownership of that tech to India. This is an old problem with India, especially when they want Western tech. The army is getting impatient and may have to settle for a less ambitious upgrade because the politicians are pretty passionate about their “Indian ownership” ideas.

The BMP-2 entered service in Russia in the early 1980s and is a 14 ton tracked vehicle with 33mm (1.3 inch) armor, a 3omm autocannon, 7.62mm machine-gun and an ATGM (anti-tank guided missile) launcher. There is a three man crew and room for at least seven troops in the back. Top road speed is 65 kilometers an hour (off road it is 45 kilometers an hour). The BMP-2 is amphibious with a top speed of seven kilometers an hour in the water. Max range on internal fuel (using roads) is 600 kilometers.

 


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