With a missile and a drone: the Indian modernization project for the BMP-2 Sarath

With a missile and a drone: the Indian modernization project for the BMP-2 Sarath
BMP "Sarath" with new equipment. Photo Telegram / ChDambiev

In the mid-eighties, the Indian industry mastered the licensed production of Soviet infantry fighting vehicles BMP-2. The release of such equipment under the name "Sarath" ("Chariot of Victory") continues to this day, and various projects for its modernization are regularly offered. So, a few days ago they showed another version of the BMP upgrade, which provides for an increase in combat capabilities due to the installation of additional weapons.

Another modernization

On October 18, the military-technical exhibition DefExpo India 2022 opened in Gandhinagar - the main platform for showing Indian developments. This year, for the first time, two new options for upgrading the Sarath infantry fighting vehicle are being demonstrated. Both projects provide for the renewal of the weapons complex in order to improve the basic firing characteristics.

A fairly simple but effective modernization option was proposed by the State Military Plant env. Medak (pc. Telangana) from the Office of Ordnance Plants. As suppliers of instruments and weapons, other enterprises from India and Israel were involved in the project.

The main devices of new types are located on the tower. Photo Telegram / ChDambiev

The project provides for the preservation of the regular body and chassis with all equipment. In addition, the existing cannon-machine gun turret is used. At the same time, new instruments and weapons are mounted inside and outside the fighting compartment. New sights appear on the turret, as well as launchers for the Spike-LR missile system and the PALM-120 loitering ammunition.

The driving characteristics of the resulting BMP remain at the level of the base Sarath. The dimensions, layout and capacity of the troop compartment have not changed either. The crew, as before, is inside the hull and in the fighting compartment. Workplaces have been updated to reflect the installation of a new weapons.

It is reported that after such an upgrade, the Sarath BMP is increasing its characteristics and gaining new capabilities. So, new sights increase the range of observation and firing. The Spike-LR missile allows you to attack targets at distances up to 5,5 km, and the PALM-120 complex has a range of at least 60 km.

Updated weapons. In the foreground is a UAV launcher. Photo Telegram / ChDambiev

The prospects for such a project are unknown. The Indian army has not yet carried out major upgrades of its BMP-2s, and such equipment generally retains its original appearance. However, it cannot be ruled out that the military will be interested in the new modernization option, and the available Sarathi will begin to be equipped with new devices and weapons of local and foreign production.

Armament complex

During the modernization of the Sarath infantry fighting vehicle, it retained its standard barreled weapons. A 30-mm 2A42 automatic cannon and a 7,62-mm PKT machine gun are placed on a common rocking mount. Such weapons are capable of hitting manpower at ranges up to 3-4 km and fighting lightly armored targets at distances of no more than 1-1,5 km.

On the left side of the turret, mounts appeared for installing a transport and launch container with a Spike-LR guided missile. Judging by the design of these devices, in the stowed position the TPK is located horizontally, and before the battle it is raised at an angle to the horizon and fixed. There are no vertical aiming mechanisms. It is curious that the ready-to-use ammunition includes only one missile.

Judging by the declared characteristics, the Spike-LR II modification missile is used. This product is 1,2 m long and 130 mm in diameter with a weight of 14 kg. The rocket is equipped with a solid propellant engine, which provides a speed of no more than 180 m/s and a range of 5,5 km. For guidance, an infrared head, an inertial navigation system or a remote control with data exchange over a fiber optic cable are used. The missile carries a tandem HEAT warhead or a high-explosive fragmentation charge.

Carrying containers with Spike LR missiles. Rafael Photos

To the right of the turret is a loitering ammunition launcher. It is made in the form of a pipe with additional devices, rigidly fixed at an angle to the horizon, and in general is similar to the installation for Spike missiles. The unit is designed for the PALM-120 product. This is a localized version of the Israeli UVision Hero-120 UAV, produced in India by the AVision joint venture.

The PALM-120 is a foldable X-wing UAV with a launch weight of 14 kg. It is equipped with an electric propulsion system that allows it to stay in the air for at least 60 minutes. and fly at a distance of up to 60 km. There is a video camera for reconnaissance and search for targets. The found object is affected by a 4,5-kg warhead.

On the roof of the tower after modernization there are two multi-channel sights, probably also made in Israel. In the center of the roof, behind the cannon mount, there is a swinging casing with another device of unclear purpose. The fire control systems, as well as the gunner's and commander's jobs, have undergone a major upgrade.

Simplicity and efficiency

Various BMP-1/2 modernization projects, both Russian and foreign, appear regularly. In most cases, we are talking about updating the weapons complex with the growth of the main combat characteristics. The new Indian project is based on the same ideas, however, in its case, the correct choice of components allowed to significantly increase the performance and obtain fundamentally new opportunities. At the same time, it was possible to avoid the restructuring of the main units and systems of the BMP, which made it possible to reduce the cost of modernization.

Loitering ammunition of the Hero family. Photo by Wikimedia Commons

From the point of view of protection, mobility and the capabilities of barreled weapons, the modernized BMP "Sarath" practically does not differ from the basic version. However, it can be assumed that the new sights and other elements of the SLA increase the accuracy of fire and the range of confident target destruction.

Various modifications of the BMP-1/2 carry this or that missile weapon. The new Indian project involves the use of the modern Spike-LR II complex. His missiles show a fairly high range and power, and in addition, they have several guidance modes. Such weapons will still allow IFVs to fight armored vehicles and fortifications, but will increase the effectiveness of this process.

Of particular interest is the introduction of loitering ammunition PALM-120. With its help, the BMP can conduct reconnaissance of the surrounding area, and for a long time and at a great distance from its position. Also, the UAV is a strike tool and in this capacity, at least, is not inferior to the Spike.

Indian BMP-2s at international exercises, 2018. Photo by the RF Ministry of Defense

Thus, the new modernization project has several advantages at once. Due to new tools and systems, it was possible to increase the possible range of observation and detection of targets, as well as the attack distance of the identified objects. At the same time, the old machine-gun and cannon armament is also preserved, which is optimal for hitting certain targets at shorter distances.

However, you can also find disadvantages. For example, launchers carry only one missile and one UAV. Whether there is room for additional products on board the machine is unclear. In this case, to recharge, you will have to go beyond the protected volume. In addition, the new weapon, due to its specificity, increases the load on the gunner operator. In particular, it is not known whether the operator will be able to simultaneously and effectively use several systems.

Uncertain Future

From a technical point of view, the new modernization project for the Sarath BMP is of particular interest. The existing machine was equipped with modern devices, which gave it new opportunities - and obvious advantages over equipment without such an upgrade package. However, the further fate of the project depends not only on technical features, but also on the plans of potential customers.

According to known data, the Indian army currently has at least 2200-2400 BMP-2 licensed assembly. In theory, all of them can be upgraded and get "Spikes" or PALM-120. Whether the Indian army will take advantage of this opportunity to upgrade its fleet of armored vehicles is unknown. She has not yet announced her opinion about the new project.
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  1. 0
    21 October 2022 16: 53
    Something did not understand. BMP, this is a tank support vehicle (or am I dumb?). Its task is to deliver those who finally consolidate the next frontier behind the strike force. Therefore, this technique is equipped only with small arms and small-caliber artillery weapons for the final cleaning of the area. And what is an attack drone for?
    1. -2
      21 October 2022 17: 07
      You stayed in the USSR.
      This is how they acted in historical wars.
      And now everything is different.
      1. 0
        22 October 2022 15: 21
        Lots of common words, and nothing real. How else?
        PS: Learn Russian
  2. +3
    21 October 2022 16: 57
    Even Indians have better brains than our brilliant managers. Everyone has arrived, the third world country is already ahead in terms of technology. Wangyu that the export of Russian weapons will collapse in the coming years. They can't do anything. It would seem that now is the right time to make a breakthrough in technology in your way. And what did you hear that something was happening? Me not.
    Well, they bought drones from Iran.
  3. -2
    21 October 2022 17: 14
    we have one thieves bravado and kitsch on our lips.
    Before the war, they boasted that in a week our tanks would be in Lvov.

    Have you watched youtube?
    Our military correspondents are all men, and they speak capriciously.
    And the Ukrainians have women military officers on the front line and they deal with the pressing problems of the soldiers.
    And six months ago ours were shouting puffing - "within a month Kyiv will fall" ...
    1. +2
      22 October 2022 08: 49
      Quote: Zx_spectrum
      We have all military men

      Quote: Zx_spectrum
      And the Ukrainians have women on the front lines

      But what about the late Katya Katina?
      Which "Redhead with a camera"

      How many times did Nadana Friedrichson go to the front line?

      Irina Kuksenkova, Channel One correspondent - was even wounded during shelling in Mariupol
    2. 0
      22 October 2022 22: 40
      Quote: Zx_spectrum
      And six months ago ours were shouting puffing - "within a month Kyiv will fall" ...

      He would most likely have fallen. But our VPR has not yet begun to fight for real. It incompetently pissed off every chance it could. Now it remains to screw up the mobilization and that's it.
  4. KCA
    21 October 2022 17: 32
    Anyone can spoil a work of the USSR, but no one except Kurganmashzavod can do it better, all these crafts are about nothing, especially among the leading developers and manufacturers of Hindus
  5. +2
    21 October 2022 18: 23
    An interesting "modernization" of the BMP-3 was done in the DPR! We added a ECO on the "tower" ... a quadrocopter with a thermal imager ... and into battle!
  6. 0
    21 October 2022 19: 12
    Quote: Zx_spectrum
    You stayed in the USSR.
    This is how they acted in historical wars.
    And now everything is different.

    Quote: Zx_spectrum
    You stayed in the USSR.

    He didn’t stay in the USSR, but in a hospital ward, but it’s good that it’s like that ... if only he had turned off the Internet ... there is a combat charter, everything is written there ...
  7. +2
    21 October 2022 19: 18
    Quote: KCA
    Anyone can spoil a work of the USSR, but no one except Kurganmashzavod can do it better, all these crafts are about nothing, especially among the leading developers and manufacturers of Hindus

    So it drank Indian, no wonder. ROSTEKH acts in the same way - it rapes the BMP-2,3 chassis by installing various of its own, primitive crafts there and nothing. production since the 1s. Such are the innovations ...
  8. +1
    21 October 2022 21: 39
    For such additional weapons, a dedicated transporter is needed for each platoon. On the BMPs themselves, receiving equipment and monitors are needed to monitor the picture from drones.
  9. +1
    22 October 2022 00: 32
    You can also put an annihilator gun on the BMP-2. But without strengthening the armor, it's just a waste of money.
    BMP-1/2 requires increased security, which entails a new engine and chassis. As well as the modernization of communications.
  10. 0
    22 October 2022 22: 46
    Cheap and cheerful.

    I have a friend who upgraded his Priora like this.
    The budget is small - it was enough to illuminate the thresholds when
    door opening, carbon muffler and subwoofer in
    in the trunk. And ... and hid the rust under the film.
  11. 0
    24 October 2022 09: 22
    Indians do not sit idle. New surveillance devices are always good. if also with a thermal imager and a range finder (although nothing is said in the article). One ATGM missile, somehow not serious, all the more so in 2 there are places for "Competitions". Here is a loitering ammunition ..... here they were surprised. Who will manage it (in battle, BUT deals with other targets and other weapons, the commander needs to follow the battle) and what is the point in it?!?!? Yes, a quadric with a thermal imager for reconnaissance of the area and in a command vehicle (platoon, at worst company) is needed! Loitering is a dubious thing, also in every car.
  12. The comment was deleted.
  13. 0
    9 January 2023 08: 53
    better than the BMP-3 with enhanced protection, the commander’s quadric and the drone striker with MANPADS in the landing force, it’s hard to think of something.