It was about time that the Indian Army upgraded its official 4WD to something in sync with the time. The long time companion of the Indian Army, Maruti Gypsy, will soon be replaced by a new vehicle. Tata Safari and Mahindra Scorpio are most likely to replace the legendary 4WD from the Army. The whole procedure is going to cost the Indian Army over Rs. 3,000 crore.
The Maruti Suzuki Gypsy will be completely replaced from the army by the beginning of 2017. Used for counter-insurgency and counter-terrorist activities, Indian Army has more than 25,000 Maruti Gypsies in its service. However, with powerful and efficient off-roading options like Scorpio and Safari, Indian Army has finally decided to switch. The Army will be testing the customised Tata Safari and Mahindra Scorpio in Jodhpur, Rajasthan around next week. It is also expected that the Army will also put these vehicles to test against extreme cold in winters of this year in the terrains of Sikkim.
The Indian Army has stated in its tender that it has a requirement for around 30,000 AA-Wheel Drive (AWD) capable vehicles that are in the 800 kg category, unlike the 500 kg category to which the Maruti Gypsy belonged. It is also compulsory for the vehicles to have at least 120 bhp of power output and compliance with Bharat Stage (BS) emissions norms III and IV. The hike in the price of the petrol is one of the reason why the Indian Army is phasing out the petrol drive Gypsy with diesel-run Sports Utility Vehicles (SUV). It is expected that the Maruti Gypsy will be completely phased out from the Indian Army in next 15-20 years. It was about time that the Indian Army upgraded its ride and Mahindra Scorpion or Tata Safari will only bring more power to the force with their sheer off-roading capabilities.