Good Bye Maruti Gypsy’s, Hello Tata Safari Storme SUVs.
In what will provide a major boost to the defence business of Tata Motors, the company on Friday signed the much awaited agreement with Indian Army to supply 3192 Safari Storme SUVs, sources told DefenceAviationPost.com
The agreement was signed today between Indian Army and by Mr Vernon Noronha, Vice-president, Defence Business, Tata Motors Ltd for Tata Motors. These 3192 Safari Storme SUVs will replace the Maruti Suzuki Gypsy’s that has been serving the Indian Army for decades.
The iconic Gypsy’s from automobile manufacturer Maruti were introduced in Indian Army almost three decades ago and were the only 4×4 petrol vehicles in the country on sale. Indian Army as also Air Force and Navy used it as one of the largest light vehicle fleet. Maruti Suzuki is reportedly going to weed out the Gypsy from the production line.
Under the agreement signed, sources said that if the Army wants any variants, Tata Motors will provide the same. This is the first order by the Army and the total numbers could grow 10-fold in future as in all the Army has 35,000 gypsies to be replaced. The current agreement with Tata Motors is only for 3192 Safaris Storme SUVs. Tata Motors already supplies the high mobility trucks to the Indian Army.
Why The Replacement?
The Indian Army has been looking for a replacement for the Maruti Gypsy vehicle with a hard top SUV that runs on diesel and is more fuel-efficient with climate control and with additional safety features and more power.
Tata Motors and Mahindra & Mahindra were the last two in the fray but Tata Motors emerged a winner sometime in December last year.
While the Indian Army shall buy Safari Storme that has a 2.2 litre four cylinder engine, the Border Security Force (BSF) is also buying about 500 Tata Safari Xenon SUVs for border patrolling, replacing the Maruti Gypsies used so far.
These Tata SUVs comes with both 4×2 and 4×4 options which help the SUV wade through marshy lands, desert, snow and gravel terrain.