For demonstrating its commitment to PM Narendra Modi’s call to 'Make in India', BAE Systems has down-selected Mahindra as its business partner for the proposed in-country Assembly, Integration & Test (AIT) facility for the M777 Ultra Lightweight Howitzer. BAE Systems looks forward to working with Mahindra in the coming weeks to finalize the details of this AIT facility and to negotiate the terms of its contractual arrangement.
In 2015, the Company developed and submitted a US Government-supported proposal offering a higher degree of indigenization on the M777 weapon system. The highlight of this is the commitment to establish AIT capabilities in India in partnership with a domestic Indian company. The selection has been made with a detailed assessment of Mahindra’s ability to achieve the requirements and provide the best value to the M777 India programme and growing its capability as a strategic partner for BAE Systems in the country in near future.
Speaking on this, Dr. Joe Senftle, Vice President & General Manager, Weapon Systems, BAE Systems Inc., said, “As a founding partner of defence manufacturing in India, BAE Systems is pleased to partner with Mahindra on our offer to develop an Assembly, Integration and Test facility in India. The facility is a fundamental part of the M777 production line. A domestic Assembly, Integration and Test facility will enable the Indian Army to access maintenace, spares and support for the M777 locally. We will continue to support the two Governments to progress to contract agreement so that we may begin the process of ‘Make in India’ for M777.”
Adding to this, Mr SP Shukla, Group President, Mahindra Defence & Aerospace, Mahindra Group, emphasized, “Mahindra and BAE Systems share the same values and common vision towards ‘Make in India’. BAE Systems is one of the largest defence companies globally and we could not have a better partner. M777 will give our Defence Forces a much needed operational advantage and an access to state of art technology. Mahindra M777 facility will also ensure that the life cycle support is available locally thereby enhancing operational availability of the guns. We look forward to making a major contribution to our Defence Forces and economy of India."
Mahindra Defence is engaged in catering to the needs of all three wings of Defence forces like Army, Airforce and Navy and para military forces. And, their product range includes armoured vehicles, underwater warfare equipment, simulators, radars and surveillance equipment’s etc. When it comes to the automobile sector, this homegrown auto major announced a deal to acquire Pininfarina S.p.A. in a deal worth about 168 million euros ($185 million) on December 14, 2015.