Tata Motors is among the frontrunners for the Defence Ministry’s ₹60,000-crore Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) programme.
“This $10-billion FICV programme is mobility-oriented, as is established by the fact that three of the five core technologies and 19 of the 34 critical technologies are mobility related, such as engines, transmission and running gear, which are core to Tata Motors,” said Vernon Noronha, Vice-President, Defence and Government Business, Tata Motors.
The company is also rooting for the Future Ready Combat Vehicle (FRCV) project that will replace the T-72 battle tank, as well as for the Future Main Battle Tank (FMBT), to replace the Army’s main battle tank, the Russian built T-90.
In addition to this, Tata Motors has submitted a proposal to supply 3,200 Tata Safari Stormes as a replacement for the ageing and iconic Maruti Gypsy, the order size for which is pegged at about ₹400 crore.
Said Noronha: “The Tata Safari Storme provides an option of a diesel variant,with a powerful 2.2-litre four-cylinder engine. It also comes with both 4x2 and 4x4 options, which helps the SUV wade through marshy lands, desert, snow, gravel and every kind of terrain in our country.”
While a decision is awaited on these key orders, the company continues to deliver 6x6 high mobility multi-axle trucks, with MHC (material handling crane) based on a larger orders bagged by Tata Motors for over 1,800 such vehicles, received between June 2015 and April 2016.
With a current order book of ₹1500 crore, company is buoyed by the new Defence Procurement Policy (DPP).
“The acceptance of single-vendors under certain conditions is a step in the right direction, and will give a good boost to the industry.
“The DRDO (Defence Research and Development Organisation) can now select partners before they design a product, and this helps private firms to exert reverse pressure on DRDO to speed up the developmental process. The policy will prove to be a catalyst with the end beneficiary being the Indian Army,” said Noronha.