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Abhay (Sanskrit: अभय, "Fearless") is an Infantry Combat Vehicle (ICV) being developed in Indiamarker by the Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO). Abhay is being developed as a technology demonstrator for replacing Indian Army BMP-2s. At present, various systems of this vehicle are in advanced stages of development.


Abhay serves as a pre-technology demonstrator to develop and test technologies that will be used on a futuristic ICV (FICV), which will replace the Indian Army's BMP-2 vehicles. The project started in the late 1990s, and design work was completed by 2001. However, the project faced delays due to US sanctions imposed after the Pokhran-IImarker Nuclear tests.

Abhay is currently being developed by the DRDO’s Ahmednagarmarker-based Vehicles Research & Development Establishment (VRDE). A mild steel prototype of the Abhay has been built, and is presently under testing for proving automotive systems. The pre-production prototype was rolled out in June 2005. Development of the first armoured prototype is also in progress.It


Abhay ICV has taken best of BMP and western equipment and will be designed for increased firepower.


Abhay features an all-electrical turret drive system and a 40mm high-velocity cannon capable of firing APFSDS and HE rounds.

The anti-air firing range of the 40mm cannon is 4 km and 2.5 km for ground attack. The ICV comes loaded with a total of 210 rounds of ammunition, and its turret, housing a thermal imager using the Catherine FC, also contains a twin-launcher for the Kornet-E ATGM (anti-tank guided missile). The Abhay is operated by a crew of three, and carries seven infantry soldiers. An electro-mechanical all-electric drive (AED) for weapons control with independent stabilisation has been developed indigenously by DRDO in association with private sector industry for the turret. The purpose of the AED is to position the 40mm cannon on to the target in azimuth and elevation and to provide twin-axis turret stabilisation against external disturbances.

The AED uses brush-less drives with especially designed backlash-free elevation and traverse gearboxes coupled to the turret ring for rotation in azimuth, and to sector gears for elevation/depression of the cannon, respectively. The AED also employs vector-control technologies implemented through digital controllers and insulated gate bipolar transistor (IGBT)-based power amplifiers for control of the brush-less drives. It also uses fibre-optic gyros as feedback elements for the purpose of stabilisation. AED has a provision for MIL-STD-1553B databus and RS-422 interfaces for real-time connectivity.


Abhay is powered by a Greaves Cotton TD2 V8 550 hp diesel engine (a power-to-weight ratio of 24 hp/tonne) and an automatic transmission supplied by L-3 Communications. The hydropneumatic suspension allows for increased passenger comfort. These factors will give Abhay excellent mobility and speed.

Bangaloremarker based DRDO Lab DEBEL is designing the ergonomical layout of Abhay.


Abhay is fitted with NBC protection system and Laser warning detectors.


Abhay is equipped with composite Armor. Two prototypes were built. The first one was with the steel armour and the second one was fitted with the composite armour. The composite armour reduces the weight by 40 percent compared to steel. Lighter ERA has been developed to be used on the Abhay.



  1. pp 14, 2004 Activity and Assessment Report of the Ministry of Defence (DOC)
  2. Ministry of Defence Annual Appraisal 2003, PIB, Government of India, February 3 2004
  3. Army to have Infantry Combat Vehicle, UNI Report, The Tribune, August 5 2001
  4. DRDO’s Life saving products save foreign exchange too, FIDSNS, August 30 2007

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