New Delhi: India’s Ashok Leyland Ltd is working on developing a mine-protected vehicle and is in talks with overseas firms to partner it in the project, a senior official said on Saturday.
“It will not only be for the Indian market, but also for overseas markets. That is the reason why we are looking for a technical partner,” B. Khaitan, special director for specialist vehicles, told Reuters on the sidelines of a defence exhibition.
Khaitan declined to name the companies his firm was talking to, but said he was hopeful of a tie-up being announced by May.
On Tuesday, top utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd said it was in talks with UK’s BAE Systems Plc to develop a similar vehicle.
The Indian armed forces require these vehicles as Maoist rebels in central India, as well as separatist groups in Kashmir and in the north-eastern states, increasingly use such explosives in their attacks.
Currently, the only maker of mine-protected vehicles in India is the state-run Indian Ordnance Factories.