New Delhi: BAE Systems and Mahindra Defence are in talks to jointly develop an Indian mine protected vehicle based on BAE Systems' highly successful RG-31 mine protected vehicle.
BAE Systems has already supplied 165 mine protected vehicles known as Casspir to the Indian Army since 1999.
The all-steel, welded armor, monocoque hull of the RG-31 protects occupants from anti-tank mine detonations and is proven to have saved the lives of countless crews from mines and roadside bomb attacks. With a modular interior layout the vehicle can be configured as an APC, command vehicle, ambulance, surveillance vehicle and for many other uses. In standard APC configuration, this air-conditioned vehicle carries a crew of 8-10.
At this year's 5th Defence and Naval Exhibition (DEFEXPO), a BAE Systems RG-31 will be on display on the Mahindra Defence stand.
Nearly 600 RG-31s are in service with the United States, Canada, and other forces, including the United Nations. Under the U.S. Department of Defense's Mine Resistant Ambush Protected (MRAP) programme, 624 RG-31s have been ordered.
''Mahindra is an enormously capable world class company with the skills to become a strong partner for BAE Systems on the development of a mine protected vehicle for India,'' said Mike Mendoza, BAE Systems' managing director India.
BAE Systems is the premier global defence and aerospace company delivering a full range of products and services for air, land and naval forces, as well as advanced electronics, information technology solutions and customer support services.
Mahindra Defence Systems is a division of the Mahindra Group. The company today is a leading provider of high mobility and light bullet proof vehicles to the Indian armed forces, paramilitary and police forces. There are over 500 Rakshaks and up-armoured Scorpios in service in the Indian Army and security/police forces in India and abroad.
''Mahindra Defence Systems is in the business of providing vehicle protection to defence forces,'' said Brigadier Khutub Hai, Chief Executive of Mahindra Defence Systems. ''Our cooperation with BAE Systems, who are leaders in this field, for joint production of mine protected vehicles is a strategic fit for our vehicle armouring business."