India’s steelmaker giant JSW Group forays into defence sector


JSW Defence and Aerospace: India’s steel maker giant JSW Group has entered into the country’s growing defence manufacturing space which has seen a large number of lucrative defence contracts being awarded to private and state owned defence companies since the launch of ambitious self-reliant India programme (Atm Nirbhar Bharat). The Atm Nirbhar Bharat scheme was launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government in 2020 to reduce the country’s dependence on imports in critical sectors, including defence.

JSW Group, led by Sajjan Jindal, announced acquisition of Gecko Motors to supply specialized vehicles for Indian military.

JSW Group Thursday (January 25, 2024) said the acquisition was done by the company’s new vertical JSW Defence and Aerospace.

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After the acquisition, the company has been renamed as JSW Gecko Motors. JSW Defence and Aerospace, part of the JSW Group, has acquired a 51% stake in Gecko Motors. Now the new company JSW Gecko will be operating as a subsidiary of JSW Defence and Aerospace.

JSW Gecko Motors, led by founder Jaskirat Singh Nagra, has already bagged a Rs 250 crore defence ministry contract to produce 96 Specialist Mobility Vehicles (SMVs), branded as ATOR N1200.

These SMVs are being manufactured in the north Indian city of Chandigarh and the deliveries are expected to start later this year.

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Parth Jindal, MD, JSW Group

Parth Jindal, MD, JSW Group.

Parth Jindal, Director at JSW Group, said we are actively pursuing partnerships with global players and Indian startups to introduce the latest military technology across multiple defence equipment segments as part of our strategic focus.

Parth Jindal said the company’s endeavour shall be to bring in niche technologies to fill in the capability gaps of Indian armed forces and partner with Indian soldiers in the line of combat.

“At $73.8 billion, India as a country has an extremely large defence budget. By 2030 the Indian defence budget is likely to grow to $200 billion. Capital outlay forms a very large part of the defence budget and it is here, we at JSW see a big opportunity,” he expalined.

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According to industry estimates, the defence production in India is expected to reach Rs 1.5 trillion to Rs 1.75 trillion in the current financial year ending in March this year and it is expected that nearly half of the orders will be executed by private Indian defence companies.

JSW Defence has appointed retired military personnel to key positions to lead the business. Commodore (retd) Madhu Gentela, an ex-Naval officer has been appointed by JSW Defence to lead the group’s defence business.

The company is also actively pursuing partnerships with global players and Indian start-ups to introduce the latest military technology across multiple defence equipment segments.

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JSW Defence's Scorpion Military Vehicle.

JSW Defence’s Scorpion Military Vehicle.

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ATOR N1200 Specialist Mobility Vehicle

The ATOR N1200 is an indigenised version of the SHERP N1200 amphibious extreme mobility vehicle, designed by UK-based Copato Limited.

Copato has entered into a joint venture pact with JSW Defence and JSW Gecko along with technology supply license agreement for the manufacture of the Specialist Mobility Vehicles in India.

“We are pleased to have the opportunity to present to the Indian market, and especially to the defence sector an unique, innovative and technologically advanced Specialist Mobility Vehicle that has no analogues in the world in terms of its capabilities and characteristics and has no competitors in the off-road ability and manoeuvrability,” JSW Gecko CEO Viktoria Tverdokhleb said in a statement.

ATOR N1200 SMV of JWS Defence.


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