The armored recovery vehicles (ARVs) will be built by the Bengaluru-based defense supplier Bharat Earth Movers under full technology transfer from Poland’s Bumar.
A proposal was recently cleared by the federal Cabinet Committee on Security headed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, the official says.
The delivery of the ARVs, valued at roughly $1.4 million each, is expected to be completed during the next three years.
The ministry did not float any global tender for the purchase since it was a repeat order, the official adds.
“After several years’ hiatus, the Polish Bumar Group returns to the Indian defense market,” says defense analyst Dominik Kimla, who works with the Frost and Sullivan Aerospace, Defense and Security group. The contract’s estimated value is $280 million, he said.
“Although Bumar will receive only a part of the contract value (as the ARVs will be manufactured under license by BELM, based on technology transfer from Poland), this is still Bumar’s largest export contract,” Kimla says.
In 2003, BEML signed a memorandum of understanding with Bumar regarding tech-transfer cooperation to manufacture and supply a range of defense products.
The army will use the ARVs to repair damaged or broken down T-72s and Russian-made BMP-1 and BMP-2 infantry combat vehicles. The T-72 main battle tanks are the mainstay of the army, which has been hampered by a shortage of ARVs.
The ARVs will be based on the T-72 tank hull, armed with a 12.7 mm machine gun and equipped with a crane that can lift up to 15 tons, as well as a front-mounted stabilizing dozer blade and a main and secondary winch.