The operational capability of the Indian Army’s mechanised forces could be severely hampered given the state of its BMP infantry fighting vehicles. The latest Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) report suggests that only 53 per cent of the sanctioned vehicles were available with the Army.
The CAG report states that the Ministry of Defence accepts the acute shortage of these vehicles would adversely impact the 12th Army plan and the proposal to raise five more mechanised infantry battalions. “The shortfall in production and overhaul of BMP vehicles affected the operational preparedness as only 53 per cent of authorised vehicles were available with Army,” the report says.
The BMP is a Russian origin vehicle which is the mainstay of the Army’s mechanised infantry battalions. These vehicles can carry seven to eight soldiers and are manufactured by the the ordnance factory in Medak. The mechanised infantry battalions is an integral part of the armoured brigades and are expected to be play a crucial role in any strike formation of the Army, which has to carry the battle into enemy territory.