‘We are Currently Looking for a Tie-Up with an International Company for Development   of Underwater Systems’
  Chief Executive, Mahindra Defence Systems, Brigadier Khutub A.Hai (retd)
Mahindra Defence Systems is very clear that in the next 10 years it wants to be the deep systems integrator for major defence equipment in the land, sea and air domain. It is not a single dimensional company focussed on the land systems alone as we want to address all three domains in the defence sector. However, having said that, Mahindra Defence Systems’ main expertise will continue to be the land systems.
As far as land systems are concerned, we made a beginning by forming a joint venture with BAE systems. This company is called Defence Land Systems India (DLSI) and will be focussed on the design and manufacture of high mobility vehicles, light armoured vehicles, infantry combat vehicles and artillery systems. In the maritime domain, we are working in the area of underwater weapon systems. We manufacture marine torpedo launchers and decoy launchers. We are currently looking for a tie-up with an international company for development of underwater systems, which hopefully will fructify by the end of this year.
In aerospace, we have a company named Mahindra Aerospace Private Limited. At the moment, it is focussed on civil aerospace and aero-structures. There is every possibility that it will develop the capability to take part in some of the Indian Air Force programmes in the future. We are also looking for some defence electronics capabilities. We recently signed a JV with Telephonics that will give us the capability to enter the field of radars, communication systems, Identification Friend or Foe (IFF) and surveillance systems etc. We hope to develop this capability in order to further integrate systems, sub-systems and platforms.

The application will be sent to the Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) by the end of December. This procedure normally takes about two to three months. As we are going by the ratio of 74:26 per cent, we are not expecting any problems. We are likely to get the clearance by February or March. Hopefully, the company will become operational by 1 April 2011.
As far as setting up a manufacturing plant is concerned, we have narrowed down to two areas, which I am not going to reveal as yet. This plant will cater to the manufacturing of the first phase of the radar and thereafter include all communications systems. We expect to commence work by the first quarter of the next financial year. And by end of third quarter, that is, by the end of December next year, we hope to have the manufacturing facility up and ready. Simultaneously, we will be sending our people to the US for training in the first phase of the radar and thereafter to manufacture as many radars as we can, depending upon the demand.
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