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BAE Systems, Mahinda Create Joint Venture

World’s No. 2 defense contractor said Monday it has signed a deal with Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. to create a joint venture defense company based in India.

LONDON (AP) -- BAE Systems PLC, the world's No. 2 defense contractor, said Monday it has signed a deal with Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. to create a joint venture defense company based in India and focused on land systems.

BAE said the parent companies' initial investment will be $21.25 million, with an equity split of 74 percent to Mahindra and 26 percent to BA Systems -- in line with Indian government regulations on foreign investment.

The pair already work together on existing projects including the Axe high mobility vehicle as well as armored and bulletproof Scorpios, Boleros, Rakshak, Rapid Intervention Vehicles and the Marksman light armored vehicle.

In anticipation of the new company, the two companies have been developing a mine-protected vehicle specifically designed for the Indian army and paramilitary forces.

"We are already working together and the benefits for all parties, including the Indian defense and security forces, are clear," said Anand Mahindra, the vice chairman and managing director of Mahindra Group. "We look forward to making a major contribution both to the security and economy of India."

The joint venture will initially have around 100 employees.

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