Mahindra and Mahindra and Britsh defense major British Aerospace have announced the name of their Joint Venture (JV) to be Defence Land Systems India.
A statement issued by the new venture said, “Deepak Chhibba and Arne Berglund will be Defence Land Systems India’s CEO and Deputy CEO respectively. Deepak Chhibba was earlier EVP International Operations Mahindra & Mahindra and has over 32 years industrial experience. The newly appointed Deputy CEO, Arne Berglund, was previously a director at BAe Systems, Global Combat Systems, in the UK.”
The statement also indicates that the focus of Defence Land Systems India will be on Mine-Protected Vehicles for the Indian armed forces and paramilitaries as well as on future artillery programs.
Anand Mahindra, Vice Chairman and Managing Director, Mahindra Group, said of their partner company, “BAe Systems is the global number one land systems defence company. We are proud to have them as a partner in this joint venture and are confident of addressing the unique requirements of Indian defence and security forces with world class product offerings.”
Guy Griffiths, Group Managing Director International, BAe Systems, explained the purpose of the venture, saying, “This Company is founded with the express purpose of serving the Indian armed forces and the Indian economy through the creation of high quality jobs, the development of innovative technologies and system integration skills, and benefits from the leadership of two world class companies.”
According to the statement Defence Land Systems India will be headquartered in New Delhi with manufacturing at a purpose built facility South of Faridabad, with about 100 employees. Existing projects include the Axe High Mobility Vehicle as well as up-armored and bulletproof Scorpios, Boleros, Rakshak, Rapid Intervention Vehicles and the Marksman Light Armored Vehicle.
The statement also adds that the JV has been approved by the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) of the Government of India (GoI) with the parent companies’ initial investment amounting to US$ 21.25 million over a three year period. “The company’s equity split will be 74% Mahindra and 26% BAe Systems, in accordance with the current defence sector Foreign Direct Investment regulations of the GoI,” says the statement.