Indian Army will replace its old Maruti Gypsy with new range of iconic SUVs, and have selected TATA SAFARI STORME. The initial order is close to 3200 vehicles and there are speculations that it can increase 10-fold in the coming years.
Since official confirmations are awaited but many sources have learnt that Tata Motors have beaten Mahindra Group which placed its Mahindra Scorpio against Safari Storme. This tussle between the two moto giants of India is going on since 2013.
Indian Army has tested both the vehicles rigorously and to their extreme limits in every possible condition- from high altitude, snow bound areas to deserts and marshy lands.
The Tata Group appears to have presented a better financial deal to the army, which have opted to replace its fleet of Gypsy vehicles at the Battalion level to transport troops and officers.
Indian Army currently has over 30,000 Maruti Gypsy vehicles in service and will progressively replace them starting next year.
“The initial order is for 3,198 new SUVs but the total number is likely to go much beyond that. The army prefers a single model across its units and formations as it is easier on logistics,” an official involved in the process told ET.
The Gypsy had been an army favorite for its ability to navigate through tough terrain. But, the need was felt for a new SUV with additional safety features and more power that runs on diesel, a fuel that’s more readily available, given its large fleet of trucks and heavy-duty vehicles.
This will be the second major order for the Tata Motors this year. Having bagged a Rs 1,300 crore deal in January to supply high-mobility military trucks for the army. The 6×6 high-mobility vehicles can be used for numerous purposes. From transporting men and material to being a platform for multi-barrel rocket launchers and surface-to-air missile systems.