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Ashok Leyland set for bigger role in Indian defence sector

BS Reporter  |  Chennai 

Chennai-based Ltd (ALDS) has entered into a tie up with (KMW) GmbH and Co KG, Germany, to co-operate in developing advanced defence systems for Indian defence establishment as well as other defence forces worldwide.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) has been signed between the during the International Defence Exhibition in Abu Dhabi, which includes scope in development of artillery systems, combat systems, armoured wheeled vehicles, recovery vehicles, bridge laying systems and other similar products. ALDS is a newly formed arm of Ashok Leyland, a Hinduja Group flagship company, in which it owns a 26 per cent stake.

V Sumantran, chairman, ALDS, said, “This strategic partnership seeks to harness the formidable skills of both companies, namely, the technological bandwidth of KMW and our approach to innovations aimed at cost advantage. For ALDS, this brings a new range of product opportunities with which we hope to fulfill India’s growing Defence needs and over time to address select overseas markets.”

The German firm would provide technology on which a certain amount of customisation would be done and manufactured by ALDS in its existing facility. The details on developing the vehicles and manufacturing are yet be finalised, according to a company source.

“This partnership with ALDS is a further consequent step in KMWs strategy to internationalize its business. Along with ALDS, we are now able to jointly develop future Indian Defence solutions based on our proven and worldwide leading technologies,” said Frank Haun, CEO and President, KMW, in a statement.

KMW, a 170-year-old company, has experience in the market for highly protected armoured wheeled and tracked vehicles. It supplies systems like MBT Leopard 2, the artillery system PzH 2000 and the highly protected Dingo 2 to over 30 countries worldwide.

It has facilities in Germany, Brazil, Greece, Netherlands, Singapore, Turkey and USA with around 3500 employees to manufacture and support products ranging from air-transportable, heavily armoured wheeled vehicles, heavy battle tanks, infantry fighting vehicles and bridge laying systems. Besides, it has wide-ranging system competence in the area of civil and military simulation, as well as in command and information systems and remote-controlled weapon stations with reconnaissance and observation equipment for day and night missions.

Ashok Leyland, in February, 2010, has signed a principles of co-operation with the Paramount Group, South Africa for the development and manufacture of mine protected vehicles in India. A vehicle under this tie up is currently on the developmental process.

First Published: Thu, March 17 2011. 00:15 IST