Ashok Leyland, Paramount ink defence deal

Indian commercial vehicle manufacturer inks multi-million dollar deal with South African defence systems manufacturer.

A multi-million dollar deal with India's Ashok Leyland will see South African defence systems manufacturer Paramount Group developing its second joint assembly plant outside the country, reports PTI.

Paramount already has a joint assembly plant in Azerbaijan. Leyland and Paramount inked a deal at Defexpo 2010 in New Delhi last week.

According to the terms of the agreement, the two companies will manufacture mine-protected armoured vehicles at a joint plant to be constructed in India, an African daily reported, quoting an unnamed Paramount spokesman.

Ashok Leyland will invest more than $10 million in the plant over the next year before the first vehicle comes off the line.

"Initially, basic components manufactured in South Africa would be used to assemble the vehicles in India before the production line there starts making all components," the report said.

The new vehicle, dubbed Stallion, will combine the specification of two Paramount mine-resistant vehicles, the Marauder and the Matador, with Ashok Leyland's basic four-wheel-drive military vehicles.

Paramount is one of South Africa's leading defence systems contractors, providing defence, peace-keeping and internal security solutions to government agencies worldwide.

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