Army to test Mahindra Scorpio and Tata Safari to replace Maruti Gypsy
14 May 2013
With the fate of petrol prices in the future uncertain, the Indian Army has had to consider other options beyond the Maruti Gypsy, which it had been using for well past a decade.
Yesterday, it commenced summer trials of Mahindra Scorpio and Tata Safari in Thar desert in Rajasthan yesterday.
The vehicles would be tested by army drivers for their endurance, fuel consumption, engine temperatures in the hot envfironment, drive performance over a rough terrain with and without load, power-to-wheel ratio The Economic Times reported citing sources.
According to the report, two variants of Mahindra Scorpio and one of the Tata Safari were under the trial on desert tracks in Jaisalmer in the western sector.
The army planned to phase out petrol-run Maruti Gypsy from its inventory under a project and increasing prices of petrol was one of the reasons behind the move.
According to the soruces, the force had a requirement of around 30,000 new light utility 4X4 vehicles and planned to phase-out the Maruti Gypsy by 2017.
The new vehicles would be inducted in a phased manner and the process was expected to be completed in the next 15-20 years.
With over 25,000 Maruti Gypsy vehicles in service, the Indian army has been the biggest customer of the Maruti Gypsy utility vehicles. These are being used by the army in all light vehicle operations including counter-terrorist and counter-insurgency operations.
The tender floated by, the army specified that it was looking for general service vehicles weighing around 800 kg powered by a Bharat Stage III and IV compliant diesel engine.