Mahindras, BAE Formalise JV, To Build Mil Vehicles, Howitzers In Faridabad

Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and BAE Systems have signed an agreement to create a land systems focused, joint venture defence company, based in India. Approved by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board of the Government of India (GoI) earlier this year, the parent companies' initial investment will be US$21.25 million. The company’s equity split will be 74% Mahindra and 26% BAE Systems, in accordance with the current defence sector Foreign Direct Investment regulations of the GoI.

The joint venture company, whose name is currently going through the official certification process, will be headquartered in New Delhi with manufacturing at a purpose built facility nearby in Faridabad. Initially there will be about 100 employees and existing projects include the Axe high mobility vehicle as well as up-armoured and bulletproof Scorpios, Boleros, Rakshak, Rapid Intervention Vehicles and the Marksman light armoured vehicle.

In anticipation of the new company, the two shareholders have been progressing a major new project to develop a mine protected vehicle specifically designed to meet the needs of the Indian armed and paramilitary forces. The companies have worked in partnership to produce a prototype vehicle using the mine defeating technologies of the BAE Systems South Africa RG series of vehicles and Mahindra's knowledge of Indian requirements and conditions. This development process has resulted in a brand new mine protected vehicle currently named MPVI (Mine Protected Vehicle India). A prototype MPVI has been produced and will eventually be manufactured at the JV facility in Faridabad using indigenously produced materials.

It is also intended that the JV company will be involved in a number of future artillery programmes including the M777 light weight howitzer and the FH77B 155mm howitzer. It is envisaged that the JV will become a centre of excellence for Indian artillery programmes.

Excerpted from BAE/MDS Joint Press Statement

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