Home / Companies / News /  Jindal Defence partners Brazil’s Taurus Armas to make small arms

NEW DELHI: In a step forward for India’s defence indigenisation ambitions, Jindal Defence is set to begin manufacturing small arms domestically in partnership with Brazilian defence major Taurus Armas S.A. Having concluded a joint venture agreement in 2020, the two companies expect to start production from January in a plant in Hisar, Haryana.

“We have already set up our plant in Hisar and are now waiting for a plant approval from the various stakeholders to begin production", says CP Agrawal, head of defence and composite business at Jindal Defence and Aerospace. The plant was set up with an initial investment of $5 million for the land and construction costs.

According to Agrawal, the plant will look to manufacture a 9mm pistol for use by the Central Armed Police Force (CAPF) and the Indian Army. The two companies are also planning to make a 5.56 x 45mm carbine which is required in large numbers by the Indian Army. Jindal Defence and Taurus Armas are participating in the latest Request for Information process initiated by the government for this weapon. 

Agrawal said that they, “also have the 7.62 x 39mm which will be a replacement for the AK platform and will be supplied to the CAPF and Indian Armed Forces". The firms plan to demonstrate these weapons at the upcoming DefExpo 2022 which will be held in Gandhinagar.

“We are looking to produce whatever our forces need in terms of small arms in our factory in Hisar," said Agrawal. The joint venture between Jindal Defence and Taurus Armas S.A has a 51:49 equity participation ratio.

Taurus Armas is a well-known name in the defence industry and is particularly renowned for its manufacture of pistols and firearms for law enforcement agencies. While it entered defence in the 1940s, the Jindal group is a relative newcomer to the industry. Before this venture into small arms manufacturing, the firm’s efforts focused on special alloys and blast-resistant armour for aerospace and defence industries.

The success of the JV agreement also speaks of progress in India’s push to manufacture defence products domestically. According to Agrawal, Taurus Armas initially came in with concerns about technology transfers and the safety of their technology. “However, the perspective has completely changed now. We are going to have a completely Made in India weapon".

By January 2023, Jindal expects to achieve 92% indigenous content (IC) in its 9mm pistols and over 50% of the same for its carbines. By June 2023, it hopes to build pistols with 100% IC and achieve a 70% indigenous content ratio for its carbines.

It has not been entirely smooth sailing. Major international defence players remain cautious about transferring technology and setting up shop in India. One challenge, as Agarwal puts it, is the sheer size of the requirements that must be met in the Indian market. Many international firms are unused to catering to such volumes.

“When we talk to some defence companies, they say they are ready to support us but will not transfer technology", says Agrawal. The solution, he says, is for the government to help improve comfort levels among foreign defence majors in transferring technology. Another idea is for the government to also help private firms, and not just defence PSUs, acquire key technologies. “If we put government resources towards bringing technology towards the private sector as well, I personally believe we can grow this sector much faster" said Agrawal.

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