New Delhi: Home-grown auto major Tata Motors on Monday announced a tri-partite partnership with Bharat Forge and US-based General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) to bid for India's Rs 50,000-crore future infantry combat vehicle (FICV) project.
Tata Motors will lead the consortium with Bharat Forge as a partner while General Dynamics Land Systems (GDLS) will bring in its much-proven expertise in-combat vehicle platforms, the company said in a statement.
On the partnership, Tata Motors Executive Director, Commercial Vehicle, Ravi Pisharody said: "Through this partnership, we will be better-positioned to help the country realise its 'Make in India' vision, for the first completely indigenised combat vehicle and at the same time cater to the opportunities available right here in India."
Bharat Forge Chairman and MD Baba N Kalyani said: "Our proposed partnership will constitute an important milestone to help meet the Indian government's objectives to strengthen indigenous defence capabilities, and particularly in land systems, with FICV."
GDLS Vice-President (Tracked Combat Vehicles) Donald Kotchman said the partnership will help meet the requirements of the Ministry of Defence FICV programme.
"At General Dynamics Land Systems, we have established a track record of delivering and sustaining international programmes, in a timely and cost-effective manner throughout the platform's life," he added.
The Tata Motors-led consortium's response to the Ministry of Defence EoI (Expression of Interest) commits to indigenise through various Tata Group companies that play a vital role in the defence and aerospace sector, the company said, adding that it will also partner with firms with the most advanced competencies in development of ICVs, for the global market.
In January this year, Tata Motors had said it would discuss with the government to include consolidated revenues in determining eligibility to bid for the FICV project despite being "confident" of its domestic turnover meeting the financial criteria.
The company is among the 10 reported Indian firms in race for building FICV - a tracked, armoured vehicle that will protect infantrymen riding into battle.
Reports had suggested that Tata Motors may not qualify for the tender if its London subsidiary JLR's is not considered.
The Rs 50,000-crore FICV project is spread over 25 years and other Indian firms, including L&T and Mahindra, are in the fray for the project. Other firms reported to be in the running include L&T, M&M, Bharat Forge, Pipavav Defence, Punj Lloyd and the Ordnance Factory Board.
The Army needs an amphibious FICV that is air-portable and can fire anti-tank guided missiles that destroy tanks at ranges of 4,000 metres.
(with agency inputs)