Chennai, Apr 11 (PTI) Hinduja Group flagship Ashok Leyland was “gung ho” about its defence business and would focus only on mobility of defence products, a top official said today.
The city-based heavy commercial vehicle maker has showcased six advanced products and technology solutions at the DefExpo organised by Ministry of Defence at Thiruvadanthai about 40kms from here.
“We are gung ho about our defence business. We are going to focus only on mobility. That means we will not manufacture submarines, missiles. You know, we have been the largest provider in transportation (business),” Ashok Leyland, Managing Director, Vinod K Dasari told reporters here.
Stating that the defence business constitute about Rs 800 crore to the group as a whole, he said, there was enough scope in this sector which would enable the company to reach Rs 5,000 crore ‘cumulatively’ over the next five years.
“Number of tenders and the level of activity (in defence business) have gone up a lot”, he said to a query on the opportunities available in the domestic market.
The four-day DefExpo is focused on the theme India: The Emerging Defence Manufacturing hub, scheduled to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi tomorrow.
Some of the products showcased by Ashok Leyland are Light Specialist Vehicle 4×4, logistics vehicle — Guru 715, medium bullet proof vehicle 4×4, high mobility vehicle Super Stallion 8×8, power pack for artillery guns — technology solution for Indian army and tracked vehicles — repower, upgrade solutions for tracked vehicles.
The local content in the manufacturing of light specialist vehicles was 98 per cent, Dasari said.
“This year’s DefExpo is to showcase India, as a major hub of defence production in the world. Ashok Leyland is proud to be leading in this area for almost three decades and we plan to be at the forefront of designing and making in India by expanding our range of vehicles”, he said.
Ashok Leyland has developed capabilities which will help the company to bid for 20-25 per cent of the tenders of the Indian Army against the one per cent earlier, he said.
The six advanced products were formally unveiled by Mahadevi Bilebal, wife of the late Lance Nayak Hanumanthappa Koppad, who was posthumously awarded the Sena medal and Veer Chakra Captain Raghunath Singh at the company’s stall in DefExpo.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.