Tata Motors has appointed Ashok Auto Sales as its commercial vehicle dealer at Firozabad. A 3S (Sales, Service & Spares) facility at Firozabad, the dealership is one of the five facilities operated by Ashok Auto Sales. The flagship dealership being the one at Agra, and the other three, at Aligarh, Mathura and Etawah. Located strategically, and reaching out to the Kolkata-Kanpur-Delhi highway, the dealership has a vehicle display area along with a fully equipped workshop with seven bays. It is staffed by professionally trained technicians, and has an air-conditioned and a wi-fi enabled customer lounge. It has a capacity to handle about 500 vehicles a month, with amenities like dedicated express service bays, overnight driver and technicians’ rest rooms, environmental friendly water conversation equipment treatment plant (ETP), electronic and bio-metric attendance systems and service parking, making this facility truly world-class.
Tata Motors has inaugurated a dealership dedicated to buses at Chennai. The dealership, at Arumbakkam, is christened as ‘Bus Zone’, and marks first such venture by the commercial vehicle major. Made up of an air-conditioned bus display area, the dealership is staffed by professional sales and service teams, offering dedicated bus services with a customer lounge and conference rooms equipped with wi-fi connectivity. With exclusive facilities like 12 bays, new-generation state-of-the-art tools and equipment, overnight driver and technician rest rooms, Effluent Treatment Plant (ETP), electronic and bio-metric attendance systems and a service parking area, Bus Zone is expected to enable faster servicing of buses. Bus Zone will also offer customers value-added services, like bus financing, Tata Alert highway assistance program, and Tata Delight and Tata Emperor loyalty programs, which include full service contracts for an enhanced service experience. The dealership also provides value-added services like Tata Motors Prolife, for reconditioned aggregates in exchange of old aggregates. For the dealership, Tata Motors joined hands with Janta Group, which is an established name in the automobile retail business in Tamil Nadu. Plans are also under way to expand the venture to Thiruvallur, Kanchipuram, Vellore, Tiruvannamalai, Villupuram, and Cuddalore in Tamil Nadu.
Q & A : Ravi Pisharody, Executive Director — Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors
Interview by : Bhushan Mhapralkar
Q. What growth will the CV industry achieve?
A. We are seeing more of what we saw last year. M&HCV sales continue to grow at 20-25 per cent, driven by cargo. Cargo M&HCVs are growing at 30 per cent on replacement demand. Tipper and construction truck part, which accounts for 30 per cent, is flat. Not like 2010-11, which saw the last big purchase. Replacement demand is connected with resale value. Demand is also coming from clients that are asking operators to buy new trucks, which are efficient and have a faster turnaround time. On October 01, 2015, some regions will move to BS IV emission norms. ABS and speed limiter will be implemented from October 01 as well. Some pre-buying to offset three to four per cent price hike is expected. We however want IIP (Industrial GDP) and mining recovery to come in. Also, agriculture. The base effect is kicking in. Buses (4 to 11-tonne) performed better in the first quarter. Small pick-ups have seen no major impact. It is essential to look at each segment. M&HCVs are growing at 20 to 25 per cent and Small Commercial Vehicles (SCVs) are declining. Companies with a complete range hold the chance of looking adverse in the short-term.
Q. What impact would regulations have on growth?
A. Regulations are a part, and also the return of some of the growth drivers like the move up to higher tonnage vehicles, tractor-trailers, etc. Today, tractor trailers are the fastest growing; two-axle trucks are the least growing. Customers want to invest in new segments. The 49-tonne segment for example. Introduced six years ago, this segment almost vanished during recession. It is coming back. Also, the move to higher hp. We led the movement from 150 hp to 180 hp in 2010-11. We are seeing a move up to 230 hp trucks from 200 hp. Even multi-axle designs due to more open competition. All the big names are here. It is obvious that people would like to differentiate. A movement towards higher spec products is on therefore. Regulations like ABS and speed limiters will help.
Q. What about alternate fuel technologies?
A. Government is trying to get some sort of electric play, and we want to be at the fore-front of it. In the area of hybrid buses mainly. The biggest area for electric play is the city hybrid bus. We are piloting a vehicle for almost four years now. We are trying to talk to the government and frame the FAME programme; to make it commercially viable. A BMTC order is part of that programme. We qualified for a hybrid tender BMTC floated. The price of the product is making it a bit of an issue. A strong push is necessary for alternative fuel technology or hybrid. We were expecting a larger outlay by the government in the budget. We expect it to come.
Q. So, buses are seeing a technological leap?
A. We are working towards executing an order for articulated buses for Hubli-Dharwad by December. There was no articulated bus purchase for many years. Higher unit price is difficult to afford. Technology is slowly moving up. For JNNURM recognition, many bus body builders are becoming bigger, professional and more efficient. With Bus body code fully implemented on August 01, 2015, ‘Mickey Mouse’ body builders will find it hard to derive a cost advantage. This is good for companies like Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland. Buses are highly regulated, and have a socialist agenda associated. They need the right permit; need to be allotted a route. Also, seen is if the state transport undertaking will be affected. Issues like these may not make hybrid buses viable. State transport undertakings cannot increase prices, and for a better experience, the need will be to recover costs by charging higher.
Q. What about the luxury bus segment?
A. For upmarket body builders it is like a boutique work. The super luxury high deck coaches are worth Rs.70 to Rs.80 lakh. The body price is five times the price of the chassis. Conversely, in a typical school bus, the price of the body and the price of the chassis are the same. Thus, a bus body is not small, and the reason why we invested in a company. With regulations, the body is becoming more expensive. Unlike China where the bus market is 50 per cent of the truck market, in India it is 15 to 20 per cent of the truck market. It will remain limited.
Q. How will competition impact?
A. As far as competition is concerned, we are of the opinion that everybody has to be in India. There is no excuse for any company to be not there in Brazil, India, Russia, and China. In Brazil and India especially. BharatBenz has laid out everything they promised in the 9-tonne to 49-tonne range. They will get a chance. Especially in those markets that regard foreign as hi-tech. Making a transition from three players to eight players, the market will see some market share correction in the short term. Many may appear in the long term. There would be no permanent repercussions with new entrants like Suzuki launching an SCV. Measured in primary sales, market share will see some inflow. The need however is to look at it 18 to 24 months down the line, and if it is sustaining. For us, the challenge is quite enormous. We are not undermining it. We have to protect from an Ace Zip to a Prima truck, or a DTC bus. Different competitors are focussing on different areas. With 60-70 per cent market share, we will have to anticipate and identify gaps. Some even though we do not find it interesting.
Q. Is government participation absolutely necessary for FAME?
A. Without government support it is not viable to participate. Not unless there’s certain volume. The battery and some of the key items cannot be localised. Dialogue is on, and while it may have been a little late for the JNNURM tender, there is a tender MMRDA has floated for 25 hybrid buses. MMRDA will run a hybrid bus service from Bandra-Kurla Complex. Despite a policy in principal, it is becoming a bit staggering to support 40-50 per cent subsidy. It amounts to Rs.40 or Rs.50 lakhs for a low-floor hybrid bus. If one were to sell 100 buses, so much money is involved. It is here that the authorities are struggling to try and give a mass face to the programme. Buses are going to benefit mass users but the number of vehicles they can showcase is only this much.
Q. How do you look at competitors who lashed on to certain segments?
A. A competitor exploited tipper segments in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. Today, the numbers that we see are very low. MAN, Navistar did not get the sort of trial a BharatBenz or a Volvo got. From their numbers, available in the public domain, it is clear that they are not getting the benefit of the 20-30 per cent upturn. The need is to look at staying power; those who have back-end technology. If you don’t have back-end technology, you have tie-ups taking place. There are some who have preferred to go on their own. We will have to wait and see. Some are seen crossing 500 units a month, which is less than two or three per cent market share. It is therefore easy to understand why BharatBenz came to be the third largest player very quickly in the M&HCV segment. The only other player is Eicher. It is in the 9- to 16-tonne range. The moment BharatBenz went up to 800-900 units, they announced that they have become the third largest player.
Q. What do you hope to achieve by expanding the dealer network?
A. Before Ace came, there was no touch and feel factor associated. We expanded from 300-400 touch points to 1000 touch points with the Ace and Magic. Existing dealers invested; new dealers were appointed; at locations (inside cities and towns) were the Ace could ply but not a big truck. The current wave began two years ago with the need to compete with new players. Ensure showroom experience. New technology like BS III and BS IV calls for a laptop to repair vehicles. A strong transformation to fully built vehicles is on. In buses it has reached 70 to 80 per cent. One may not want to experiment with more expensive products like the Ultra and Prima. Some of the sales outlets (1S) have expanded to include three to four service bays for SCVs. Coming to include programmes like 24×7 assistance, apart from expanding current locations and establishing new locations we are focussing on proper connectivity of service centres. We expect our network to reach 4000 touch points by the end of FY17 from the existing 3000 touch points.
Q. With many dealers stressed, how do you look at their ability to modernise?
A. Over 60 to 70 per cent of the revenues come from trucks, and the recovery is helping. CV numbers may not be picking up yet, the revenues are higher than that of the previous year. This is good for vendors, and for the channel partners. Return on investment is measured in revenues rather than the number of vehicles sold. Sale of eight to 10 Ace Zips can be made up by the sale of one big truck. Similarly, sale of five to six Ace or Magic can be made up by the sale of one truck. This will also explain why the M&HCV recovery is so critical. Keen to maintain the dealership structure or culture, we would not like a dealership to fail. In case of a CV dealership, due diligence can be exasperating. It can take one-and-a-half year to issue a letter of intent. It will take another one year for the dealership structure to be established. If is therefore, that we are talking about a lead time of up to FY17.
Q. How popular are fully-built trucks?
A. Multi-axle tipper sales account for 100 per cent fully-built units. Tractor-trailers already come with a cabin. The issue is with multi-axle trucks. Insistence on cowls is there. In the 16-tonne to 25-tonne multi-axle truck category, the market remains value conscious. Customers in this category prefer a wooden cabin as costs are low. In case of an accident, the cost of a wooden cabin is not as high as a fully-built vehicle cabin. We have embarked on an education programme, but the per centage of fully-built vehicles in the the category is still at less than 10 per cent.
Q. What about exports?
A. We have been exporting for 20 years. It is however not enough to balance against a domestic down cycle. Availability of Prima, Ultra, and SuperAce with a 1.4-litre common-rail diesel engine will help us to reduce our dependence on SAARC markets like Bangladesh, Nepal and Sri Lanka. These markets don’t have a local brand. There are export markets that we are in, which include European brands. Our products compare well on appearance and specs, and offer a 10 per cent price advantage. We are getting repeat orders from the Middle East, South Africa and other markets. Planning to go up from 45,000 units last year to 1,50,000 units in a three-to-four year time frame, our first quarter results show that we have grown by 35 per cent on export numbers. We have launched pick-ups in a number of Asian markets like Philippines, Indonesia, Malaysia, Vietnam and Australia. We are already present in Africa. In Thailand we are diversifying our range beyond Xenon, to trucks. We will soon begin export of SuperAce Mint. We will also launch a refreshed Xenon with extended space cab. Half the Thailand market is about space cab pick-ups. In Tunisia we started an assembly operation. We also have a manufacturing JV in South Africa. We entered the Saudi Arabia market in 2013. In the manner in which Suzuki had to develop a diesel engine for India, we had to develop a petrol engine for the export (left hand drive) variant of the Ace.
Q. What about regulations and technology when it comes to exports?
A. Unless we have a critical mass in a Euro 6 product, we may not look at Europe. It is an extremely expensive proposition. A declining market with solid home grown players can be an expensive affair. The products that we are going with are not leaps and bounds ahead in terms of technology. Though more developed than us, many markets are yet to reach the BS IV levels. In many markets we have had to go back to BS II specs to export some of our products. We will therefore go with our products where there is a scale for our technology. We are investing in Australia. It is one of our lead markets from the technology stand point. We are looking at automatic transmission on a pick-up with Australia as a lead. We are also working on Euro 5 and Euro 6 because it will come to India in 2019 and 2022. Our presence in some of the export markets is giving us a head-start to go into some of the technologies rather than wait and scramble at the last minute. It is an enormous task across cars and commercial vehicles.
Q. What are your capex plans?
A. We have been anticipating competition, exports, and in a sense that the capex, which is somewhere between 1500 and 2000 numbers, will continue. There is hardly any product in which we are investing only for exports. We are planning an AMT in an ICV category vehicle. The two big cabin-platform investments – Prima and Ultra – are behind us. Not expecting dramatic rise in sales, platform renovation will continue. We invested in capacity in the past. When the M&HCV capacity was running short at Lucknow. As a result we got good growth in 2010-11 and 2011-12. If we had not expanded at Lucknow, or if Tata Cummins would not have setup a facility at Phaltan, we would have fallen short. We have also invested at Dharwad for SCVs. We are facing issues of under utilisation for past three-four years, but the capex is focussed on product design and development; very little on facilities for the next five to six years.
Q. Is the market discount oriented yet?
A. The market is still heavily discount oriented. We have capped our discounts. We don’t want to be a discount leader despite having in excess of 70 per cent market share. We feel it is a better long-term measure at the cost of some short-term loss till the market gets better. We are seeing a strong recovery in South. The fall in that market was also the largest. This is over a four year cycle. We are not missing any particular segment, product-to-product. The Prima 4018 and 3118 continue to lead their respective segments.
Q. You have bagged defence orders?
A. Defence is a business waiting to happen. Even before this government came in, over the last three-four years, there has been sufficient talk about buying from the Indian private sector. Before the ‘Made in India’ thing came about. We have been asked to put our vehicle on trial. It is a big ticket – in the 6×6 and 8×8 segment. These vehicles have not been bought from India. Replacement demand for such defence vehicles is thus coming up. While we want to export more defence vehicles, ‘Make in India’ is really applicable in defence vehicles. The 6×6 quotation was received in 2011-12. As trials go on for longer periods, we have received an order now.
Beginning with the manufacture of military vehicles for the Allied Forces during World War II, Tata Motors’ defence business has Rs. 1500 crore worth of orders currently.
Tata Motors has bagged an order to supply around 1,239 LPTA 2038 high-mobility 6×6 multi-axle trucks from the Indian Army. Claimed to be the single largest order awarded to an Indian OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in land systems under the DPP by the Indian army, the order for 6×6 vehicles is for ‘Material Handling Cranes’ for the loading-unloading and transportation of ammunition pallets, spares and other operational equipment. Speaking about the development, Vernon Noronha, Vice President, Defence and Government Business, Tata Motors, said that defence and internal security have been the driving factor, supported by favourable government policies. “A favourable government policy in 2006, which aimed at cutting down the purchase of imported defence equipment from 65 per cent to 30 per cent was the driving factor. Another driving factor was the need for the forces to modernise. We are mobility specialists and therefore decided on Land Systems,” Noronha added.
With earlier Land System vehicles limited to being sourced from BEML-Tatra and government agencies largely, the 6×6 multi-axle truck supply from Tata Motors marks the inclusion of indigenously developed ones. The LPTA 2038 was subjected to a trial run of 25 months. Claimed to have been designed to cope up with extreme on or off-road loads, the LPTA 2038 underwent trials like water-fording, on cross country terrains and plains, and at VRDE’s (Vehicle Research and Development Establishment) torture track.
“The truck was tested in – 22 degree Celsius temperatures and at +50 degree Celsius in deserts. This was in the wake of competition from Tatra and MAN,” stated Noronha. With defence vehicles from the company finding use with US and UN peace keeping forces in Africa, including an order for 1,000 militarised Xenons from Myanmar, and 175 militarised Xenons for Afghanistan, Tata Motors is concentrating on Land Systems. “We are concentrating on combat vehicle range, and this is where an effort to move away from older generation vehicles is on in India. Armed forces floated an EOI to move to newer generation combat vehicles. Armoured vehicles command 30 per cent of the Land Systems market,” expressed Noronha. He drew attention to the FICV project to transfer defence business in India. It is a USD 10 billion anticipated programme to replace old BMPs, and is driven by ‘Make-in-India’ intent based on the need to localise key technologies Noronha added. He said further that his company has good advantage for FICV project as it has access to global technologies; the ability to focus on mobility; the ability to integrate, and the ability to indigenise. FICV is expected to emerge in the next three-to-four months.
Apart from the LPTA 2038, which is designed for easy operability and maintenance as accessing the aggregates is easy, Tata Motors has also developed LPTA 3138 8×8, LPTA 5252 and a mine protected vehicle powered by a ISBe 245 bhp Euro 3 engine with GVW 14,300 kg. Capable of withstanding a blast of 21 kg of TNT, a few mine protected vehicles (MRAP or APC) have already found their way into police forces operating in naxal affected areas. The wheeled amphibious ICV platform (Kestrel) that Tata Motors has developed, is an infantry combat vehicle. It is powered by a 600 bhp ISLe engine. It is also a part of the program that is funded by the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO). Tata Motors has received an order for three, and will be fitted with diverse machine kits. It is a modular platform explained Noronha. He further explained that Tata Motors acquired many systems to put in Kestrel. Hydro-pneumatic struts, and electronic systems and architecture with plug and play for example. Group companies like TCS, Tata Cummins helped with the design, said Noronha.
Hoping that the modern Land Systems platforms will have a 30-year life cycle like the ones before, Tata Motors is also supplying kits to the Jabalpur Vehicle Factory (VFJ) to built the LPTA 715 4×4. The company is supplying 2,500 kits per year, and more than 40,000 units have been made by VFJ till date. Tata Motors is also co-operating with Ordinance Factory Board (OFB) and DRDO to enter the defence space. It has bagged an order to supply 702 Light Anti-Mine Vehicles (LAMV) with OFB, and 100 Kestrels with DRDO. Working on a revenue model, the company, according to Noronha, has Rs.1,500 crore worth of defence vehicle orders currently. The 6×6 order was won against two competitive agencies. Apart from the Central Tyre Inflation System (CTIS) for mobility in soft sand desert conditions to enable the driver to adjust the tyre pressure from his seat, the LPTA 2038 is also fitted with a self recovery winch, modular cabin with HVAC, and is fully-ready for warmongering. Capable of achieving sustained speeds of 40 kmph on severe cross country terrains, the vehicle can be customised for a wide range of applications like CGT (Common Gun Tower), MBRL (Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher), MFU (Missile Firing Unit), MSV (Missile Service Vehicle), FSV (Field Service Vehicle), SRSAM (Short Range Surface to Air Missile), QRSAM (Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile), LLQRM (Low Level Quick Reaction Missile), and MRV (Medium Recovery Vehicle). The combat vehicle according to Noronha will integrate at least 50 new technologies.
Having done business worth Rs.2,000 crore in the last three years, the company expects to double the revenue in the next three years. It plans to do so on many fronts including a front that is looking at modernising from 500 kg payload platforms to 800 kg payload platforms. “The Scorpio and Safari were selected,” said Noronha. His company has bagged an order for the supply of 3,192 highly modified Safari Storme platform at Rs. 10 lakh a piece approximately. With close to 30,000 to 45,000 Gypsys and Commanders on the verge of replacement, the armed forces according to Noronha are looking at vehicles with more power, auto transmission and independent suspension. Explaining that military vehicles are over designed, and have to undergo numerous trials (like the maintain-ability trial) over fairly longer periods, Noronha opined that it is the price that works to their advantage. He concluded, “In combat too, we expect to penetrate on price. Our vehicles are as good as a MAN or Mercedes-Benz, and cost approximately 35 per cent less.”
Tata Motors has appointed a new commercial vehicle dealer at Pune called Excel Vehicles. Situated at Tathawade (on Pune-Bangalore highway), the dealer will provide sales, service and spares (3s) under one roof. One of the six dealerships that will come up in this fiscal, the dealership has 24 workshop bays, and is staffed by professionally trained technicians. It has the capacity to handle 100 vehicles a day, and is equipped with amenities like dedicated express service bays, overnight driver and technicians’ rest rooms, environmental friendly water conversation equipment treatment plant (ETP), Wi-Fi connectivity, electronic and bio-metric attendance systems, service parking and specialised reserved vehicle display areas. Apart from the Tathawade facility, Excel Vehicles is also in the process of starting another 3s facility for Tata’s SCVs (Small Commercial Vehicles) at Tathawade as well as Loni. Loni is near Chakan on the Pune-Nashik highway. Averred R. Ramakrishnan, Senior Vice President, Commercial Vehicles, Tata Motors, “With an understanding of the retail distribution business, after-sales services, customer care and new markets, across sectors, we are happy to have on board Excel Vehicles, a leading player in the automobile retail business here in Pune.” Ajay Garg, CEO and Director, Excel Vehicles, said “We at Excel Vehicles would offer all the products and solutions available in the Tata Motors commercial vehicle range, with highly skilled, trained and qualified professionals working for our organisation.” For the record, the entire sales team at this dealership has been trained under Tata Motors’ ‘Drona’ training module.
Tata Motors has bagged an order to supply around 1200 nos. of its high-mobility 6X6 multi-axle trucks, from the Indian Army – the single largest order awarded to an Indian private OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturers) in land systems under the DPP by the Indian army. The order for 6X6 vehicles is for ‘Material Handling Cranes’ for the loading-unloading and transportation of ammunition pallets, spares and other operational equipment.
Developed indigenously, the Tata 6X6 high mobility all-terrain all-wheel drive vehicle, has completed a total trial duration of 25 months, demonstrating maximum performance in the most demanding conditions. Designed to cope with extreme on or off-road loads, these vehicle have gone through trials like water-fording, on cross country terrains and plains and at VRDE’s (Vehicle Research & Development Establishment) torture track.
The Tata 6X6 is designed for easy operability. The vehicle is easy to maintain, due to accessibility to its aggregates. The vehicle is fitted with central tire inflation system (CTIS) for mobility in soft sand desert conditions. The CTIS allows the driver to adjust the tyre pressure from his seat. The system provides the vehicle with better traction on different types of surfaces, especially when carrying vital and heavy loads. The Self-Recovery Winch assists in extraction of the vehicle (including other vehicles in the convoy) during operations. The vehicles cabin is modular with HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) and is fully-ready for up-armoring. High ground clearance enables better negotiation of gradients, sand dunes, off-road terrains, trenches with higher water & mud fording capabilities, whilst carrying designated military payloads. The vehicle is also capable of achieving sustained speeds of 40 kmph, on severe cross country terrains.
Mr. Vernon Noronha, Vice President, Defence & Government Business, Tata Motors Limited said, “We at Tata Motors are extremely proud to have bagged the single largest order, among Indian OEM’s from the Indian army, for the most technologically advanced High Mobility Load Carrier system ever built here in India. The order is a validation of our strategy and growth potential, for our durable and extensive range of defence vehicles, designed and developed with our evolving customers, including that of security forces across the world. As leading suppliers of mobility solutions to the country’s security forces, we will shortly commence delivery of these high-mobility vehicles”.
The Tata Motors 6X6 High-Mobility MAV can be customised for a wide range of applications such as –
- CGT (Common Gun Tower)
- MBRL (Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher)
- MFU (Missile Firing Unit)
- MSV (Missile Service Vehicle)
- FSV (Field Service Vehicle)
- SRSAM (Short Range Surface to Air Missile)
- QRSAM (Quick Reaction Surface to Air Missile) vehicle
- LLQRM (Low Level Quick Reaction Missile) vehicle
- MRV (Medium Recovery Vehicle)
Tata Motors offers its defence customers with a wide range of vehicles, in the light, medium and heavy category, having created a focused division to design and develop defence technologies and products, at its manufacturing facilities in Jamshedpur and Pune. Tata Motors also has a dedicated service team and network for defence products, across the length and breadth of the country. Through HORIZONEXT, Tata Motors four-pronged customer-focused strategy, we have adopted a customer centric approach in the design and development of our mobile defence land solutions, that are reliable, offer optimum usability, and are easily serviceable, with technology at the forefront.
TATA MOTORS IN THE COMBAT VEHICLE SPACE
For self-reliance in the area of Combat Vehicles & Engineering, Tata Motors has laid emphasis on the development of Combat Vehicle Technologies and systems, with the aim of empowering our defence forces, with breakthrough technologies. The idea is to ensure high mobility, fire power and protection to troops during military operations, with world-class Armoured Fighting Vehicles. Hence Tata Motors is strategically moving from a logistics support provider, to a combat vehicle player.
In combat vehicles, Tata Motors has designed and developed indigenously, the Wheeled Armored Platform (WHAP), an Indian Armoured Personnel Carrier, designed for optimized survivability, all terrain performance and increased lethality. Tata Motors has also developed a Light Armoured Multi-role Vehicle (LAMV), a reconnaissance vehicle, combining vital operational pre requisites of mobility, protection and firepower. Equipped with modern observation, surveillance and communication equipment, the vehicle will provide our armed forces with a technological edge necessary to achieve superiority on the battlefield.