The adequate increase in the defence budget is a welcome sign for the defence players like Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M). India's defence budget has gone up by 17.6 per cent to 1,93,407 crore-that is approximately around $38 billion. M&M is gearing up to absorb the opportunities which will emerge from the steady rise in the defence allocations. M&M feels privileged while contributing to the efforts of the government towards indigenisation, serving the nation and the defence services through their customised indigenous home grown military hardware and products.
Formed in the year 2000, Mahindra Defence Systems (MDS) is an operating group of Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. MDS is present in land systems, naval systems, vehicle armouring in the UAE and in defence electronics. The MDS group consists of the following operating business units.
DEFENCE LAND SYSTEMS INDIA (DLSI). DLSI, a JV between M&M Ltd (74 per cent) and BAE Systems plc (26 per cent) is focused on design, development and manufacture of light armoured vehicles, mine protected vehicles (MPV), high mobility specialist vehicles, infantry combat vehicles, artillery systems and their upgrades. It has a state-of-the-art facility at Prithla near Faridabad with an annual capacity of 750 vehicles. The customers are the Indian Army, paramilitary forces, state police and exports to foreign armies and police forces.
Currently, DLSI is the largest private sector manufacturer of light armoured vehicles in the organised sector. Its current products are: Rakshak, the combat proven light bullet proof operational vehicle; Rakshak Plus, the new light armoured vehicle; Marksman, a capsule-based armoured operational vehicle; In service 6 x 6 mine protected vehicle; Armoured Scorpio, a VIP discreet protection vehicle; Axe, an all-terrain, off road vehicle and Rapid intervention vehicle, an anti-riot vehicle. DLSI is also the design authority and lead systems integrator for the Indian Army’s futuristic infantry combat vehicle (FICV), for which Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd is the development authority and the prime contractor.
DLSI is also pioneering indigenisation of artillery systems in India. Besides being a lead vendor for the sub-systems to OFB for manufacture of erstwhile Bofors gun in India, it is also bidding/involved in the future artillery projects of Indian Army.
MAHINDRA DEFENCE NAVAL SYSTEMS (MDNS). MDNS is constantly innovating and endeavouring to be at the forefront of technology and is open to the idea of working jointly with both Indian and overseas agencies.
Mahindra Defence Naval Systems has its operational plant at Chinchwadgaon, Pune, where it manufactures components for sea mines, torpedo decoy launchers, triple tube torpedo launchers, specialist products for submarines and few other products. They are supplying to the Indian Navy, the Ordnance Factory Board and DRDO organisations. Mahindra Defence Naval Systems would soon be hived off as a separate company with one of the leading international defence players.
PROPOSED JV WITH TELEPHONICS. In November 2011, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd and Telephonics Corporation, a leading designer, developer and manufacturer of high-technology integrated information, communication and sensor system solutions to military and commercial markets worldwide, announced MoU to form a JV company. The JV company would provide the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) and the Indian civil sector with radar and surveillance systems, identification friend or foe (IFF) devices and communication systems. In addition, the JV intends to provide systems for air traffic management services, homeland security and other emerging surveillance requirements.
MAHINDRA EMIRATES VEHICLE ARMOURING (MEVA). Mahindra Emirates Vehicle Armouring (MEVA) with its production facility in Ras al-Khaimah, UAE, brings in complete vehicle armouring solutions. Specially designed armoured vehicles act as security stimulators in all terrains and conditions.
MDS aspires to be a leader in the Indian defence market space and an accepted global supplier of defence equipment.