Tata Motors on Tuesday launched a mine protected vehicle, eyeing good growth in the defence business right up to frontline combat vehicles.

“Our aim is to participate in the entire defence value chain. Besides consolidating our traditional supplies, we will participate in creating vehicles and equipment specific to the defence sector as also offer our expertise in upgrades and life extension programmes,” company Managing Director (India Operations) P. M. Telang told journalists here.

“In addition to our own initiatives, we will form appropriate partnerships and harness the capabilities of our own subsidiaries and other Tata Group companies,” Mr. Telang said, adding that the launch of combat and tactical vehicles and equipment would allow them to leverage the entire defence mobility spectrum.

Besides the Indian Army, Tata Motors will offer the vehicle to paramilitary and police forces. The company has the ability to mobilise adequate manufacturing capacity, and will deploy its dealer and service network across the country for maintenance and service. According to company Vice-Chairman Ravi Kant, “the defence business is becoming a big business. We are the largest commercial vehicle maker, so we think we are poised to play an important role.”

The company is also planning to bid for supply of light bullet-proof vehicles to the Indian Army.

Tata Motors, which has supplied about 1.2-lakh units to India’s defence and paramilitary forces since 1958, is planning to bid for supplying light bullet-proof vehicles, to be manufactured on its multi-utility vehicle Sumo’s platform.

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