After venturing in automobile, Sajjan Jindal-led JSW Group has made its entry into the defence sector with the launch of new business vertical, JSW Defence and Aerospace and has acquired a majority stake in extreme off-road vehicle company Gecko Motors for an undisclosed amount.
Now rechristened as JSW Gecko Motors, the company has secured a ₹250 crore order from the Ministry of Defence for the manufacture and supply of 96 Specialist Mobility Vehicles (SMVs), branded as ATOR N1200.
The order is currently under manufacturing at JSW Gecko’s newly set-up manufacturing unit at Chandigarh in Punjab and will be supplied to the Armed Forces by June.
The ATOR N1200 is an indigenised version of the SHERP N1200 amphibious extreme mobility vehicle, designed by UK-based Copato which has entered into a joint venture agreement with JSW Defence and JSW Gecko.
The JV has a technology supply license agreement for the manufacture of specialist mobility vehicles in India with a vision to make India the global production hub for this product.
JSW scion Parth Jindal said at $73.8 billion, India has an extremely large defence budget and it will grow to $200 billion by 2030.
ATOR N1200 specialist mobility vehicles are designed to navigate all types of terrains in extreme weather conditions and has proven its capability from the arid deserts of Rajasthan to the tortuous creeks and mudflats of Bhuj/Rann of Kutch to the rugged mountainous terrain in sub-zero temperatures, he said.
As part of strategic focus, the Group is actively pursuing partnerships with global players and Indian start-ups to introduce the latest military technology across multiple defence equipment segments, he added.
Jaskirat Singh Nagra, erstwhile promoter of Gecko Motors said, the company has been working to develop unique application specific vehicles for extreme terrains for the last eight years and is keen to have a strategic partner who could grow the business besides supporting the R&D efforts to design and develop new extreme mobility products for India.
JSW Gecko is very well positioned to leverage the immense potential the extreme mobility sector presents, he added.