The Sarath was developed as a modified version of the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle to meet the specific requirements of the Indian Army
India operates an impressive fleet of 2,500 Sarath infantry fighting vehicles, the Indian license-produced variant of the BMP-2, built by Ordnance Factory Medak. The first vehicle, assembled from components supplied by KBP, was ready in 1987. By 1999, about 90% of the complete vehicle and its associated systems were being produced in India.
The BMP-2 Sarath was first introduced in service with the Indian Army in the early 1990s. The Sarath was developed as a modified version of the BMP-2 infantry fighting vehicle to meet the specific requirements of the Indian Army, and it has since become an important and widely-used armored vehicle in the Indian military.
The BMP-2 Sarath is a versatile and effective ICV that is armed with a 30mm automatic cannon, a coaxial 7.62mm machine gun, and a 9Sh119M1 missile launcher to fire Konkurs-M anti-tank guided missiles (ATGM), capable of punching through armor behind explosive reactive armor (ERA). An upgrade integrated the 9P135M-1 to provide night capabilities for the ATGM launcher. The Sarath can also carry up to seven fully equipped infantry soldiers in addition to its crew of three.
The BMP-2 Sarath is well-suited to a variety of roles on the battlefield, including troop transport, fire support, and reconnaissance. Since then, the BMP-2 Sarath has several modernization programs focused on enhancing its capabilities and keep it relevant on the modern battlefield.
Three main variants of BMP-2 Sarath have been derived from these programs. The base BMP-2 Sarath utilizes Elbit System’s Thermal Imagers for both the Gunner and Commander of which over a 150 were ordered, and a further development of this same model dubbed the BMP-2M which utilizes the same imagers as well as integrates the AVsion PALM 120 loitering munition and a Spike ATGM launcher.
One modernization from the Ordnance Factory Medak incorporates a new fire control system, integrating EL-OP optical sights for both the Gunner and Commander, providing situational awareness and night operation capability, a crucial missing standard on Indian Army Infantry Combat Vehicles.
The AVision Loitering Munition, or the PALM 120, and Spike Anti-Tank Guided Missile (ATGM) are both advanced weapon systems that provide significant advantages to the BMP-2 Sarath and other armored vehicles. PALM 120 is a small unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) that is designed to loiter over the battlefield and provide real-time intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (ISR) capabilities to the operator. The AVision is also capable of carrying a small explosive payload that can be used to engage and destroy enemy targets, such as armored vehicles or personnel.
In conclusion, the BMP-2 Sarath is an Indian variant of the highly successful BMP-2 Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV) that has been manufactured under license in India. The Sarath has undergone several modifications and upgrades to meet the specific requirements of the Indian Army, and it has become a versatile and effective armored vehicle that is well-suited to a variety of roles on the modern battlefield.