India’s largest automobile manufacturer Tata Motors on Thursday said it is looking to invest R600 crore on the development of Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICV).
The company is also planning to set up a manufacturing plant for FICV, provided the vehicles are approved by the government for use in the armed forces.
“The development cost of such vehicles could be around Rs 300 crore and a manufacturing plant for the same could be around Rs 250 crore or above,” said Ravi Pisharody, president, Tata Motors Commercial Vehicles Business Unit. “We would set up the plant if we do get the orders from the government.”
The company has been supplying trucks for logistic purposes to the army since 1958 but is now branching into more specialised combat oriented vehicles. Tata is one of the four companies which have received expression of interest to supply around 2,000 units.
“The tender process is yet to be completed and hence there is no final decision on setting up of the plant,” he said. “If it has to it may be set up in Dharwad (Karnataka).”
The company’s revenues from the defence business is estimated to be Rs 1,000 crore in this fiscal year, a 50% growth over the last year. In the next fiscal, the company is looking at 30% growth.
“Bulk of this is still in the logistic space but it is in the combat vehicles that future growth is going to come,” Pisharody added.
The company, with an order book of Rs 250-300 crore, is also looking to supply landmine protected vehicles to states like Maharashtra and Jharkhand.
The company is also looking at exporting some of its vehicles to markets such as the West Asia.
Currently it exports mainly to SAARC countries such as Sri Lanka and Nepal besides some African Nations and for US agencies in Afghanistan.