Saturday, 27 August 2011

Mahindra Delivers Special Mine Protected Vehicles For Jharkand Police

courtsey  http://motorids.com
The first lot of six mine-protected vehicles jointly developed by BAE Systems and India's auto major, Mahindra Group, has been delivered to the state police of Jharkhand, which are fighting an internal Maoist insurgency.

Defence Land Systems India, a joint venture between Mahindra & Mahindra and BAE Systems Plc,expects to sell more MPV-I next fiscal as it eyes big orders from the Home Ministry for CRPF and other state police forces for mine protected vehicles.

"We are among the four companies identified for Indian Army's future infantry combat vehicle, out of which two will be shortlisted. Already we are preparing ourselves to be ready if we are shortlisted for that," Defence Land Systems India (DLSI) Managing Director and CEO, Khutub Hai told PTI.

Moreover the company is "also looking at design and development of artillery systems" to widen its portfolio.

He said the company is leveraging on technology from BAE Systems and develop products that are cost effective but at par with global standards.

Commenting on the MPV-I, Hai said:"This is the first such vehicle of its kind indigenously manufactured by the private sector industry being delivered to the police forces in the country." While declining to disclose order size from Jharkhand Police, he said the firm expects to sell a total of about 20- 25 MPV-Is this fiscal.

"This will include repeat order from Jharkhand Police, which will be slightly bigger than the first order and also from five to six states which are actively combating Naxalites," Hai said without disclosing further details.

"For the next fiscal we are confident of doing about 100 MPV-Is and we are expecting orders from various state police forces," he said.

Globally such vehicles cost around about half a million dollars but DLSI is offering it "at a much lesser rate", he said.

Mahindra Defence Systems is producing a variety of military vehicles for the Indian Army and the paramilitary forces. The Army's requirement for special military vehicles is estimated to be more than $3 billion.

The Army proposes to purchase more than 10,000 light military vehicles over the next five to seven years valued at more than $2 billion, and the majority of these will be produced by private defense companies in collaboration with overseas firms.

These vehicles will be purchased in phases. The Army requires that the vehicles include four-wheel drive, a high power-to-weight ratio, are capable of traveling 80 kilometers per hour and carrying rocket launchers, and are equipped with GPS navigation.

The company's Prithla plant has a capacity to produce up to 800 vehicles a year, of which up to 120 are MPV-Is. In the last three to four years the company has invested about Rs 60 crore on the plant.