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L&T ready to partner with Hanwha Defense on light tank offer to India

L&T will likely offer the K21-105 light tank to the Indian Army if it partners with Hanwha Defense. (Hanwha Defense)

India's Larsen & Toubro (L&T) has said it is prepared to produce light tanks with South Korea's Hanwha Defense for the Indian Army.

An L&T spokesperson told Janes on 7 February that the company plans to partner with Hanwha Defense on manufacturing light tanks for the Indian Army. The two companies have already partnered to produce the K9 Vajra-T self-propelled howitzer (SPH), a variant of the K9 Thunder SPH, for the Indian Army

However, the spokesperson added that the Indian Ministry of Defence (MoD) has only released the request for information (RFI) for the light tanks and not the tender. The joint production of light tanks is uncertain at this stage since the tender's categorisation will decide what direction the programme will take, the spokesperson added. This categorisation will determine whether and to what degree a foreign vendor will be involved in manufacturing the light tanks.

“Given this situation, I believe it is far too early for any global player to offer their product to India,” said the L&T spokesperson.

A spokesperson from Hanwha Defense told Janes on 13 January that the South Korean company is willing to jointly produce the K21-105 light tank with L&T for the Indian Army. This arrangement would be similar to the programme to build the K9 Vajra-T SPH.

“Hanwha Defense will discuss with its Indian partner the level of technology as required under the Make in India policy,” the Hanwha Defense spokesperson told Janes.


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