MILAN — South Africa’s Paramount Group is expanding its manufacturing hub in India to broaden the range of combat vehicles it will produce there, including 4x4 and 6x6 infantry fighting platforms in the lineup for global customers.

The aerospace company, now headquartered in the United Arab Emirates, announced on Sept. 14 that it was widening its armored vehicles production cooperation with India-based engineering and technology conglomerate Bharat Forge and its subsidiary Kalyani Strategic Systems.

“The global armored vehicle market is undergoing a monumental shift and our partnership [with them] has become ever more strategic. We are excited to broaden it to include the development and production of 4x4 and 6x6 infantry fighting vehicles for customers around the world,” Steve Griessel, chief executive officer of Paramount Global stated in a company press release.

This expansion builds on existing industrial ties between the partners. In 2021, Paramount and Bharat Forge signed a cooperation agreement for the joint manufacturing of the Kalyani M4 armored personnel carrier in India. A number of these have been delivered to the Indian Army as part of a contract estimated around $21.4 million.

These deals indicate a wider trend among global defense companies to ramp up production in India to lessen their dependence on China and Russia. For years, New Delhi has been doubling down on efforts to become the Asian alternative to Chinese manufacturing, with the government’s “Make in India” mantra embedded in all sectors of the economy.

A defining feature of Paramount’s business model has revolved around in-country production of different systems. In March, it signed a strategic agreement with UAE-based AAL-Group to locally manufacture the main and tail rotor composite blades for customers of Mi-type helicopters in the Gulf country.

This move was an attempt to incentivize states to shift away from Russian manufacturers for upgrades, maintenance, repairs and overhauls and opened up new business opportunities for the South African group.

Elisabeth Gosselin-Malo is a Europe correspondent for Defense News. She covers a wide range of topics related to military procurement and international security, and specializes in reporting on the aviation sector. She is based in Milan, Italy.

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