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Ashok Leyland plans aerospace business foray

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NEW DELHI (PTI): Hinduja group firm Ashok Leyland has said it is planning a foray into India's aerospace business, both defence and civilian, and is talking to foreign players for technology partnership.

"We are looking at opportunities in the aerospace business, when we will finally enter that will depend on any good opportunity and the finalisation of areas in which we want to enter," Ashok Leyland Vice Chairman V Sumantran told reporters at the Defence Expo here on Thursday.

The company is looking at both civilian as well as defence sector for foraying into the business, he added.

"We are talking to different foreign companies for technology sourcing. The nature of the association, whether it will be an equity partnership or a joint venture, will depend on the kind of products we want to develop," Sumantran said.

When asked in which area of the aerospace business the company will first enter, he said the company is ready to look at the entire range of aerospace business and will decide depending upon its capabilities.

The company Thursday showcased 6x6 and 8x8 defence logistics truck at the Expo. The group has formed a new company 'Ashok Leyland Defence System Limited' to pursue its interest in the sector.

Talking about its bid to develop and supply Futuristic Infantry Combat Vehicles (FICV) for defence forces, Sumantran said: "It is a very long duration programme. Vehicles of all the players are going to be tested till 2016-17 and only after that orders will be placed."

Ashok Leyland is a part of a consortium with L&T and is responsible for management of mobility in the FICV programme, he added.

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