Companies

Ashok Leyland creates Super Stallion for bigger role in defence space

PTI Chennai | Updated on July 18, 2013

Ashok Leyland's Stallion vehicle

Eyeing a larger role in the defence space, Hinduja Group flagship company Ashok Leyland today said it is “stretching its wings” with its Super Stallion range of vehicles in domestic and overseas markets.

“So far, we have mostly depended on the Stallion platform. We decided that we need other platforms (to play a larger role). So, we created Super Stallion which is a significantly bigger platform,” Ashok Leyland Non-Executive Vice-Chairman Dr V Sumantran said here.

“Super Stallion is 6x6, 8x8. Typically, Stallion is 230 HP, and Super Stallion is 360-400 HP. We got entry into that. There are about five tenders at least. The first one has been opened, ourselves and L&T are in L1 (lowest No. 1) with the Super Stallion platform.

“Powertrain, transmission, engines are done by us, while L&T does the other. So we are stretching our wings,” he said, adding, “We are a partner, a consortium, for mounted guns system. We have platform for short range missile system.”

Observing that the Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICV) for defence forces was a long duration programme, he said, adding FICV testing would be ready after 2017 and volumes would happen only after 2020.

Ashok Leyland has established a new company called Ashok Leyland Defence System Ltd to pursue its interest in this sector.

Noting that the company was one of the early entrants in the defence sector, he said, “Today, we are the largest private supplier to the armed forces in India with our Ashok Leyland Stallion”.

Asked if they would look to export Super Stallion range of vehicles, he said, “It is definitely a platform we will export. We have got export prospects. It has Neptune engine and is very capable. We have got lot of markets (to export)”.

To a query on the company’s foray into aerospace few years back, along with a foreign partner, Sumantran said, “Frankly, it is in cold storage. It has been a tough nut to crack.”

“You would have noticed that in the last 3-4 years, we have tapped major aircraft tenders other than MMRCA (Multi—medium Range Combat Aircraft). We really did not get the opportunity”.

“Unless there is an opportunity, we are not inclined to put money on the ground and wait for 5-6 years for something to happen. It is too risky. So, we said we will wait for the right partner and right opportunity,” he said.

Published on July 18, 2013

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