The Indian Army gets a much needed upgrade finally after years of being assigned the Maruti Gypsy as a general service vehicle. The move can be seen as a great move by TATA motors who have secured their deal for the SUV’s being sold to the governemnt states under a report published by The Economic Times.
Earlier the government had shortlisted Mahindra’s Scorpio and TATA’s Safari Storme after which both the SUV’s were put under testing. Both the mid range SUVs were put through some rigorous tests including rides on high altitudes, snow, deserts and marshy lands which were passed both by Safari and Scorpio. But TATA motors acquired the deal following a better financial proposition. Initially the army will be supplied with 3192 units of TATA Safari Storme and it is estimated that the requirement might jump by 10 times in the coming years.
However the SUV’s variant has been upgraded to suit the needs of the army. So the Army owned Safari Storme will be different than the one available in the market for civilians. The upgraded version comes with a more advanced drivetrain and much better suspension for off-road requirements.
The Army decision came from the need to move away from GS500 ( General Service 500 Kg) and also GS800 ( General Service 800 kg) to provide for a hardtop vehicle with a heavier payload capacity. This made the Indian army to float a tender which brought Mahindra and TATA Motors on board.
This can also be seen as a good news for TATA as the company might also get some ammunition business for their TATA Motors Defence Solutions. Just last year the company won an order to supply high mobility multi-axel trucks to the army. The order was valued at INR 900 crores and the trucks were used for various purposes such as loading, unloading and transportation of ammunition, spares and operational equipment.