The Indian Army’s association with Maruti Suzuki Gypsy is not new. After serving the Army for years now, the defense department is stated to be in talks with Tata Motors for procuring a fresh lot of Safari Storme SUV for its serving members. Mahindra and Tata had approached the Army early last year with Scorpio and Safari Storme, respectively. Both the vehicles had cleared tests across tough conditions and rigorous terrains, however as reports state, the better offer from Tata Motors has turned things in their stride.
Currently, the Indian Army has over 30,000 Gypsy units in service and are extensively used in transportation of troops and officers. The replacement process will begin early next year and the initial order of 3,198 new Safari Storme units will be delivered. As the Army prefers to have a single model across units due to logistic benefits, it is likely that Tata Motors will see more orders coming in soon.
If the deal moves ahead, this could be a second major order for Tata Motors this year, the earlier being Rs 1,300 crore deal in January for supplying high-mobility military trucks for the army. This will also help the Safari Storme offer better safety features and more power as compared to the dated Gypsy. The diesel version also makes it much simpler for the Army to procure fuel as it is readily available and is being used in its heavy-duty vehicles and fleet of trucks. More details will be known in the coming days.