TATA Motors, Bharat Forge and US-based General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) have formed a partnership to bid for India's Rs 50,000-crore future infantry combat vehicle (FICV) project. Tata Motors will lead the consortium with Bharat Forge as a partner while GDLS will bring in its much-proven expertise in combat vehicle platforms, the company said in a statement on Monday.
Tata Motors executive director (commercial vehicle) Ravi Pisharody said, "Through this partnership, we will be better-positioned to help the country realise its 'Make in India' vision for the first completely indigenised combat vehicle and at the same time cater for the opportunities available right here in India."
Bharat Forge chairman and managing director Baba N. Kalyani said, "Our proposed partnership will constitute an important milestone to help meet the Indian government's objectives to strengthen indigenous defence capabilities, and particularly in land systems, with FICV."
GDLS vice-president (tracked combat vehicles) Donald Kotchman said that the partnership will help meet requirements of the defence ministry's FICV programme. "At General Dynamics Land Systems, we have established a track record of delivering and sustaining international programmes in a timely and cost-effective manner throughout the platform's life."
The Tata Motors-led consortium's response to the Indian ministry of defence EoI (expression of interest) commits to indigenisation through various Tata Group companies that play a vital role in the defence and aerospace sector, the company said.
In January, Tata Motors had said that it would discuss with the government to include consolidated revenues in determining eligibility to bid for the FICV project despite being confident of its domestic turnover meeting the financial criteria. The company is among the 10 reported Indian firms in race for building FICV-a tracked, armoured vehicle that will protect infantrymen going into battle and are equipped with anti-tank missiles. Reports had suggested that Tata Motors may not qualify for the tender if its London subsidiary Jaguar Land Rover is not considered as part of the Group. The `50,000-crore project is spread over 25 years and other Indian firms reported to be in the running include L&T, M&M, Bharat Forge, Pipavav Defence, Punj Lloyd and the Ordnance Factory Board.