Chennai, Sept 28 : The Combat Vehicles Research and Development Establishment (CVRDE) at Avadi near Chennai has started developing unmanned infantry combat vehicle for carrying troops as a precursor to developing unmanned Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT) by 2020.
This information was given by CVRDE Director S Sundaresh on Saturday evening on the sidelines of Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) India Students Convention, organised by the SRM University at its campus in suburban Kattankulathur, in Avadi.
Speaking to reporters, Sundaresh said robotic technology was being incorporated in the Russian Infantry Combat Vehicles (BMP Vehicles), which was being manufactured at Medak Plant using Russian technology.
A man base vehicle would control three unmanned vehicles to be used for surveillance, to detect nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and mines.
The manned BMP vehicles being used by the Army would be converted into unmanned tele-operated autonomous vehicle, the prototype of which was demonstrated to the participants of the convention.
He explained the advantages of the vehicle, saying that these vehicles could be used in any kind of terrain and in the future these vehicles would decide its own combat strategy.
''We have undertaken the project last year and a full-fledged vehicle will be handed over to Army in four years' time. We are planning to hand it over to the Army by 2011 for field tests, after which we will take up full scale production,'' he added.
Expressing hope that the tanks would be inducted in the Army by 2011, Sundaresh said the total cost for the project is Rs 60 crore.
He further said that the number of orders would be more as the Army plans to replace all the manned vehicles with the unmanned ones.
The unmanned vehicles would be a precursor to CVRDE's plan to work on an unmanned battle tank, which is expected to be realised in 2020, he added.