Tata Motors has signed a strategic agreement with Bharat Forge and US-based General Dynamics Land Systems for India’s Rs 50,000-crore Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) programme.
Tata Motors, the country’s largest commercial vehicle maker, will lead the consortium with Pune-based auto component maker Bharat Forge as the partner. General Dynamics Land Systems will bring in its expertise in the combat vehicles business.
“Defence needs partners with long-term commitments to develop products and solutions through multiple generations of evolution. This partnership will position us well to help the country realise its Make in India vision through the development of the first completely indigenised combat vehicle,” said Ravi Pisharody, executive director, commercial vehicles, Tata Motors.
The FICV is a high-mobility armoured battle vehicle for ferrying infantry men. It will replace the army’s fleet of 2,610 Russian-designed BMP-series armed vehicles in operation since 1980.
“Working with the country’s largest automotive manufacturer will help develop new directions for both companies and address future requirements of the Indian armed forces,” said Baba Kalyani, chairman and MD, Bharat Forge.
Last year, the army had issued expression of interest to 10 firms for the FICV programme. Apart from the Tatas, Mahindra & Mahindra, the Ordinance Factory Board, Titagarh Wagons, Larsen & Toubro, Reliance Defence (formerly Pipavav Defence), Rolta India were also eyeing the project.