Hinduja flagship Ashok Leyland said that it is in advanced talks with a select few defence players (OEMs) in the US and Europe to offer its mobility solutions. The company, the largest mobility/logistic solutions provider for the Indian Army for more than three decades, sees huge opportunity not only in India but also in the overseas markets, given the wide offerings as well cost advantage it holds among peers.
“Armed with the successful agreement with Israel-based Elbit Systems for high mobility vehicles to carry artillery guns and systems, we are in talks with a select major defence players (OEMs) in the US and Europe to offer our cost-effective, wide range of mobility solutions. We hope to get a few deals to serve the global markets with our mobility solutions in the near future,” said Amandeep Singh, head, defence business, Ashok Leyland.
In an interview with the FE here, Amandeep Singh, said: “Ashok Leyland is the only player in India to have an expertise in design, develop and manufacturing of logistic vehicles, combat support HMVs and armoured vehicles for the defence forces. We are also only player to indigenously design, develop and manufacture 350 HP Neptune engine which can support any kind of mobility services. Our range of offerings gone up significantly over the years. Though we have been exporting vehicles independently to African countries and Thai Army for sometime, the company seeks to make it big on the global market and Elbit agreement is one such important development to go global in offering specialised vehicles.”
“We have improved our capabilities with the launch of 8×8, 10×10 and 12×12 Stallion range of vehicles in the recent past which can carry high-powered artillery guns, rocket launchers among other defence equipment, he said, adding: “Given the cost advantage in making in India, Ashok Leyland can be 25% to 30% cheaper than the other mobility service providers in the world and hence many OEMs have shown interest on our offerings,” he said.
To a question, he said of the `27,000 crore annual defence budget, nearly 5% of it would be for mobility/logistic vehicles and Ashok Leyland is the market leader in this area. “We have supplied more than 75,000 vehicles to the Indian Army over the years and we have won most of the recent bids of Indian Army. In fact, we have been working with the Indian ordinance factories to provide aggregates, sub-systems, drive train, power packs among host of other solutions for for their mine protected vehicles, armoured vehicles and drag vehicles. This apart, we have been supplying indigenously developed armoured vehicles to police force in the states of J&K, Punjab, Maharashtra, Chattisgarh to combat naxalism and terrorism activities in those states,” he said further.
According to him, the company can support with its India-made aggregates, sub-systems for Indian Army’s drag vehicles, which are currently supported by Russian vendors. There are nearly 300 such drag vehicles produced by the ordinance factories annually which require huge support systems and Ashok Leyland is qualified enough to support with locally-made, cost effective products.
“There are over 4,000 such drag vehicles plying in India, which require replacement for aggregates, support systems, gear box/engines, APUs where we can throw our hat to support with our solutions. We see huge opportunity in the defence space and we are gearing up in a big way to tap this potential,” he said.
By: Financial Express
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