Representative Image: Tata Motors
Tata Motors, one of the largest defence equipment suppliers to the armed forces, is confident of bagging the Rs 60,000-crore order to produce and supply future infantry combat vehicles (FICV) to the Indian Army.
Tata Motors is one of the five entities competing for the order to supply about 2,600 units of the FICV. Mahindra & Mahindra, Reliance Defence, L&T, Ordnance Factory Board (OFB) are the other companies in the fray.
"We were expecting a decision to come in before Christmas from the ministry of defence, but as we know it, it has been delayed by only a few days. But this is any day better than the earlier deadline of March 31. We are confident about it," said Vernon Noronha, vice president, defence and government business, Tata Motors.
While the state-owned OFB has automatically made it to the final, the government will select two companies and award the contract to one of them. Tata Motors joined hands with Pune-based Bharat Forge and General Dynamics Land Systems for the project.
The project would be divided 60:40 between the two top contenders after several rounds of modification and trade-offs as required by the army. FICV is a tracked, armoured vehicle that protects soldiers from small arms fire and artillery shrapnel while moving around the battlefield.
"MoD was keen to announce it before December 31. It could happen in the remaining days of December or in the early part of January", added Noronha.
Tata Motors further said on Friday that orders worth nearly Rs 2,500 crore has been bagged in recent months for supplying trucks, utility vehicles and tippers to the army. This includes an order worth Rs 375 crore for the Tata Safari Storme to replace the ageing Maruti Gypsy.
The company will supply 2,500 units of 4x4 2.5 tonne trucks every year. In addition, Tata Motors also bagged an order of 1,859 units of 6x6 high mobility vehicles (HMV) and the company has already completed deliveries of 1,000 units with the balance to be completed in the next few months.
It has also got repeat order for 6x6 HMV. Besides, another it has won an order to supply 500 units of the Xenon pick-up which includes 366 units for the Border Security Force (BSF).
At least, 350 units of 4X4 variant of the tipper will also be supplied to the Border Roads Organisation for projects in the North East.
The defence division of the company said its revenue has consistently shown a growth in the past three years. From Rs 900 crore recorded in 2013-14, the company said it will close the current year with revenues of Rs 1,650 crore. "We will close next year with revenues of Rs 1,800-2,000 crore," Noronha added.