17 August, 2015, The Hindu
Tata Motors won the contract amid stiff international competition and has supplied 520 vehicles
In a sign of increasing Indian defence exports in the global market, Tata Motors has supplied 520 vehicles to the United Nations Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali (MINUSMA), including ambulances, jeeps, water and fuel tankers, recovery and refrigeration trucks and buses.
The contract was won in 2014 against stiff international competition and these vehicles have been deployed in mission areas in West Africa.
“Tata Motors exports its range of specialised defence vehicles to SAARC, ASEAN and African regions. With its rich portfolio of multi-axle 12×12, 8×8 and 6×6 heavy-duty vehicles, the company has started supplying to leading Original Equipment Manufacturers across the world, having established itself as a supplier of specialist vehicles,” Mr. Vernon Noronha, vice-president (defence & government business) of Tata Motors, told The Hindu.
Recently, Tata Motors won a contract to supply 1,239 units of High-Mobility Vehicles with material handling cranes and 500 units of General Service (GS 800) vehicles to the Myanmar Army in addition to signing a cooperation agreement with Malaysia.
Inroads into defence
With India embarking on a major defence modernisation drive and the government opening up the sector for private participation with the ambitious ‘Make in India’ initiative of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, private companies are increasingly investing in the lucrative but highly competitive defence sector.
India’s defence exports are paltry compared with the size of its market or imports. Since 2010, India has exported defence items worth over Rs. 2,600 crore, Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar informed Parliament recently.
In contrast, China, once a fellow importer, has emerged as the third largest global arms exporter