Saturday, September 19, 2015

Indian Army BMP 2 Upgrade Program

Indian Army BMP 2 Upgrade Program

    The Hyderabad based state run ordnance factory Medak has backed a major order to upgrade one thousand operational BMP 2/2K into BMP -2M standard. The US $2 billion worth upgrade is a planned mid life upgrade program to keep the combat vehicle future ready. The upgrade will equip the vehicle with new generation automatic grenade launchers and anti tank missiles. The BMP-2 is an all weather and terrain infantry fighting vehicle which can be easily transported by air and can mount amphibious attacks. The Indian Army operates nearly 1500 BMP-2 with well over 1000 vehicles operating as assault vehicles and the rest operating as ambulances, mortar carriers, NAG equipped Anti-tank missile carriers and NBC Reconnaissance vehicle.

    The BMP was initially developed in Soviet Union and is being indigenously licence built in India by Medak ordnance factory. The BMP is a highly reliable and versatile vehicle. Equipped with 30mm main cannon and a 7.62 mm gun for secondary support the BMP is a shot in the arm for frontline forces. Most of the second generation BMP is also equipped with second generation wire guided fagot or Konkrus missiles for attacking tanks. The BMP vehicles have the unique capability of mounting amphibious assault.

    The key point in the up gradation program is enhancing the night fighting capability of the BMP vehicles. Plans for replacing the existing 260 hp engine with a more powerful 380 hp engine is adrift. The addition of a more powerful engine will allow the vehicle to operate in the harsh hilly terrains. The vehicle will also feature advanced fire control and electro-optics systems. A more powerful and newer anti tank missile will arm the vehicle after the refit. Reports of the BMP having been equipped with Kornet anti tank missiles are doing rounds. The army has been demanding the vehicle be equipped with automatic grenade launchers, so the 7.62 mm cannon may make way for 30 mm automatic grenade launchers.

   The BMP's night attack capability will be improved drastically with the addition of thermal IR imaging systems and laser range finders. The BMP will also be equipped with newer fire control system and electro optical systems. The new thermal imaging system can track targets up to 5 km and recognize the targets as far as 3 kilometres. The main fire control system can be optimized into a hot stick, meaning the gunner can choose the exact weapon to destroy the target. The target tracking computer system equipped with laser range finders help the crew have an enhanced situational awareness of the battlefield.

     The upgraded BMP will capable of firing two Kornet missiles. Enhanced fire control system helps the crew to reload the missiles at much faster rate. The BMP can also engage on the move targets. The Kornet anti tank missile comes with tandem charged high explosive anti tank warhead or thermobaric warheads, equal to 10 kg of TNT. The Tandem charges can penetrate most reactive armours presently employed by most main battle tanks. The Kornet missile uses laser beam riding for target guidance.

   The addition of 30 mm grenade launcher is a shot in the arm for Army to mount counter-terrorism operations. The Russian AGS 30 or AGS 17, 30 mm grenade launcher would be added to the vehicles during the refit. These grenades are equipped with high explosive fragmentation warhead. The vehicle can also be equipped with flash or smoke grenades. Smoke grenades are used to provide cover from enemy laser targeting.which is the BMP's primary countermeasure system 

  The OFB factory Medak still producing those BMP 2's, along with the Russian support Medak Factory will modernize the BMP's with many Russian sub systems.

Editor Karthik Kakoor

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