Private players to bag 1 lakh-cr army project to make Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICV) :balle: http://www.deccanherald.com/content/134923/private-players-bag-1-lakh.html In a wake-up call to the Defence PSUs and in line with the Centreâ€™s policy on indigenisation of defence production, one or more private companies are set to bag a Rs 1,00,000-crore tank project from the Army in the coming months. Defence sources told Deccan Herald that the project to make Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICV) â€“â€“ infantry armoured vehicles â€“â€“ was in the advanced stages and that the Ministry of Defence (MoD) had called for the request for proposal. Although it is not clear who the private firms would be at this point of time, they said one or more private players, depending on their capabilities, will bag the order, as there are no PSUs contending for the order. This, they said, was the first time that a defence project had completely barred PSUs from bidding. â€œThe project is only open to private companies and those with adequate technical qualification will bag the order,â€ they said. Another source said that firms with foreign collaboration/tie-ups will have an edge over the others, given the kind of precision the project will require. â€œUnlike in India, foreign companies have the experience in participating in, and executing such projects. Thereby, those with joint ventures or partnerships with such firms will have the upper hand,â€ another source explained. The requirement of such tanks, as of today, they said is estimated at about 25,000. India had in January this year unveiled a new Defence Production Policy that aims to achieve more than 50 per cent indigenisation in the next decade, and provides a major role to the private sector in defence manufacturing. This project comes almost as the first move from the Centre, and in a very short time after the policy was unveiled. This also suggests that the policy, which Defence Minister A K Antony and his deputy, M Pallam Raju, have been warning the PSUs of, was a conscious decision which they hope will show dividends in the coming years, making India a more self-reliant nation. Sources said the army/MoD has already completed the field and facility visits of companies it has narrowed down on, and has asked for assurance of overseas transfer of technology. The trend of private players getting a bigger pie in defence manufacturing, they say, is here to persist. Besides the FICV project, the Tactical Communication System project, which is at a nascent stage, will also have a bar on the PSUs from bidding, they said.