Ashok Leyland Defence Systems Limited (ALDS), an associate company of Ashok Leyland, is scouting for a technical partner to strengthen its defence business.
In a letter to the company’s shareholders, Dheeraj G Hinduja, chairman of Ashok Leyland, said, “Defence is one of the businesses which could sustain its position supporting the core business of the company. An area of renewed focus for the company is the defence business.”
“India’s defence sector is seeking greater participation from the private sector to shore up the nation’s defences and ALDS stands poised to leverage technologies and partnerships to provide tactical and armoured solutions to address our country’s defence requirements,” V Sumantran, chairman, ALDS, recently said.
The company’s product range will offer good performance while achieving high levels of local content and cost competitiveness, he added.
The company is expanding its range of defence vehicles with the up-gradation and expansion of the proven and tested Stallion range of logistics solutions and the introduction of a heavier range christened ‘Super Stallion’.
“We are also in the process of developing a range of tactical and armoured vehicles in strategic partnership with globally-renowned names like Krauss Maffei Wegmann of Germany, and Panhard General Defense, France,,” the company said in its annual report.
The products includes armoured vehicles with military payloads ranging from 1.5 to 16 tonne on the Colt, Stallion and Super Stallion platforms that will address requirement for light specialist vehicles (LSVs), light bullet-proof vehicles (LBPVs), light artillery machines (LAMs), mine-protected vehicles (MPVs), field artillery tractors, multi-barrel rocket launchers (MBRLs) and other special applications.
The sector will be catered through ALDS, a newly-formed associate company, which will focus on addressing both Indian and overseas defence markets, the company said, adding, “The company is in discussions with various producers of equipment in the world for technical collaboration.”
Recently, the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) has approved a proposal from ALDS to raise Rs 10-crore foreign investment to undertake defence-related activities.
The defence business continued to hold steady with sales of 370 vehicles and 2,981 kits in the last financial year, building on the strength of 70,000 Stallion vehicles in use, as the Indian Army’s largest supplier of logistics vehicles.