Brazilian multinational manufacturer Taurus obtains the final license and will start producing weapons in the country in January 2024
Brazilian multinational Taurus received authorization from the government of India on Thursday (09.nov.2023) to begin commercial production of firearms at the factory built in the country, in the city of Hisar, in the state of Haryana.
The new plant is the result of a joint venture between Brazil’s Taurus Armas S.A. and the Indian group Jindal Defence Systems Pvt Limited, which provides for a pioneering transfer of technology to India’s defence sector and the manufacture of weapons on Indian territory, in accordance with the “Make in India” program aimed at developing the local industry.
Now, Brazil, which is traditionally an exporter of primary sector goods, will begin exporting technology to one of the most important countries in the world, the largest in terms of population, and in an extremely strategic sector, which is the defense sector, where India already stands out in terms of investments for the development of weapons and equipment with cutting-edge technology.
“This is a very important achievement for the company, for our employees, as well as for all Brazilians, because after three years of intense work, overcoming cultural differences, differences in processes and all the bureaucracy, especially in the area of defense, where there is extreme control in all countries, Taurus and Brazil have finally received permission to start transferring technology, complying with the Indian government’s Make in India program to have technology under its control. In short, it’s a historic and very important fact for Brazil,” says Salesio Nuhs, Global CEO of Taurus.
The manufacturing unit in India will begin production in January 2024, initially for the civilian market. Manufacturing for the military, police and security markets will take place according to the tenders that are won.
The factory currently has an assembly capacity of approximately 1,150 weapons per day and will possibly ramp up over the course of the year, depending on demand. Taurus is exploring commercial opportunities in the region, in addition to the huge and almost untapped civilian market.
The largest tender ever held in the world is underway, for 425,000 rifles for the Indian Ministry of Defense, in which the company is participating. Samples of the weapons are due to be delivered for qualification evaluations, which will follow a strict testing protocol, including at a base in the Himalayas in low temperature conditions and in the desert at high temperature, in January 2024. The company is also competing in other smaller tenders for police and paramilitary forces which, in the medium term, involve business estimated at more than 30 million dollars.
Taurus stands out in the world market for having very competitive prices, high technology, quality and production volume (which few manufacturers in the sector have), factors which led it to win, among others, the competition to supply the T4 assault rifle to the Philippine Army last year, also competing with major international arms manufacturers.
Taurus, a Strategic Defence Company and a member of the Brazilian Defence Industrial Base (BID), is a pioneer in a technology transfer program for the promising Indian defence sector. This is the first private factory to supply the civilian market in India, as well as the first arms factory in the state of Haryana.
The partnership with Jindal Defence was signed in 2020 during the first Brazil-India Defence Industry Dialogue of the India-Brazil Business Forum (IBBF), organized by the Ministry of External Affairs of the Government of India. The joint venture has share capital formed by both companies, in the proportion 51% Jindal Defense and 49% Taurus. Taurus will provide technology, while the Jindal Group has injected capital.
Brazil is becoming a reference and a pioneer in the transfer of technology to India, through the national manufacturer Taurus, while in the country rules are being imposed to restrict the purchase of weapons, the right of citizens to exercise self-defense is being questioned and even Brazilian athletes are being prevented from having access to products for training and participation in international shooting competitions (a traditional sport which, in the past, won Brazil its first Olympic medal).
India – a promising market
India has one of the largest armed forces in the world in terms of personnel, with more than 1.3 million members. There are around 1.4 million police officers in the security forces. The Indian market also includes around 7 million private security guards, as well as marksmen and citizens in a country with more than 1.4 billion inhabitants, making it the most populous in the world.
In the last five years, India has been the world’s second largest arms importer and is among the top five countries in the world with the highest defense spending.
Despite this, international sources claim that India only possesses around 74 million civilian small arms, mainly old and obsolete pistols and revolvers. The country provides around 45,000 new licenses to acquire weapons every year and there are approximately 12 million active licenses. There seems to be no doubt that an almost untapped civilian market, with a population of 1.4 billion people, is an attractive, perennial and promising niche.
India is considered the fourth military power on the planet, behind only the USA, Russia and China. It also has the 8th largest GDP in the world, ahead of countries like Italy, South Korea, Canada and Russia.
India’s potential in the defense sector is immense. The number of jobs created with the new factory and the transfer of technology will undoubtedly bring a new era in Indian defense.
The factory in India could be a new watershed for the Brazilian multinational, just as the company’s change of management in 2018 and the turnaround implemented in the company raised it to the level of the largest seller of small arms in the world, world leader in the manufacture of revolvers and one of the largest producers of pistols, as well as the brand most imported by the USA (the world’s largest arms market). And so, with success and a promising future, Taurus celebrates its 84th anniversary this month.
*** Translated by DEFCONPress FYI Team ***