IA plans to adopt a novel approach to design and develop its Future need of Battle Tanks. Towards this, an RFI (request for Information) has been issued by the Directorate General of Mechanised Forces (DGMF), which aims to identify and seek willingness of established tank designers/ design bureaus/agencies to participate in a Design Competition to design the proposed Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV). The FRCV is planned to replace the T-72 fleet. It is planned to be developed on a modular concept so as to support the subsequent development of at least 10 different variants, including Light Tanks, ARVs, Trawls, etc.
2. The development of FRCV is proposed to be Service HQ driven and managed by a dedicated FRCV Project Management Team (F-PMT). DRDO is planned to be incorporated in the Project as technological partner, for expert inputs in the FRCV development.
3. The proposed approach will involve three stages, namely, Design Phase, Prototype Development Phase and Production Phase. Details of these phases are:-
(a) Design Phase. Reputed tank designers with experience in tank design, will be asked to design a futuristic battle tankthrough a Design Competition. The FRCV will be a combat vehicle platform which will form the base for developing a ‘Family of Vehicles’. The Design Competition will be conducted under the aegis of the F-PMT by a Design Selection Committee, consisting of domain experts, representatives from defence agencies, as also experts from DRDO and academia (including IITs).
(b) Prototype Development Phase. The prototype will be developed based on the selected design. The User, the Design Agency and DRDO will remain closely associated with the entire prototype development phase. The developed Prototype(s) will undergo extensive user trials and evaluation before bulk production starts.
(c) Production Phase. The bulk production will be undertaken in India by a nominated Indian Production Agency (PA), which may well be one of the Development Agencies (DAs).
4. Issue Of RFI. The global RFI issued only aims to identify and seek willingness of tank designers/design bureaus or other agencies (foreign & Indian) to participate in the FRCV Design Competition under certain stated conditions (listed in the RFI). The primary conditions of the competition will be:-
(a) The winning design(s) will become the property of Govt of India.
(b) The winning Designer will be required to continue to work on the project till the Production Stage of the Project.
5. The RFI does NOT give out the detailed parameters of the FRCV. These will be given to the agencies short-listed for participating in the Design Competition. The brief description of the FRCV, given out as part of the RFI, is only to give a very rough idea of what the product is likely to be.
6. Based on the responses, DGMF will finalise the modalities of the project, including the Design Competition guidelines, and seek MoDsanction to execute the project under the new approach.