Sunday, 2 September, 2007

M&M launches defence purpose vehicle

Its big and mean and very tough. Its the latest product from Mahindra Defence Systems, the Axe FAV is an extreme offroading multi terrain defence purpose vehicle.

Mahindra has developed the Axe for defence use and is pitching it to the Indian Army. The company has also bagged an order from a foreign army for 215 units of which 15 are being shipped right away.

In fact, Mahindra is eyeing quite an opportunity in this space and will be pitching this vehicle and some future variants to defence forces in many countries.

So the company is in the process of setting up a new arm, Mahindra Special Military Vehicles Ltd. This company will have its own manufacturing plant outside Delhi in Faridabad on a 6-acre plot.

Initial investments are pegged at about Rs 50 crore. Work has already begun and the Faridabad plant will be operational by March 2008. It will source engines for the Axe platform from GM and Ssangyong initially, before switching to indigenous engines subsequently.

The new plant will make and supply defence vehicles like the Axe and any future military specific models developed by Mahindra. These vehicles will be exported as well.

The Axe is just the start says Mahindra and it is already considering a civilian application of this platform, much like what GM did with the US Army Humvee.