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Gypsy to Tata Xenon: Indian Army Shifts Preference

Published On Dec 27, 2016By Mukul Yudhveer Singh

Indian Army's most loved and used vehicle, Maruti Gypsy, a transition between 4X4 pickup trucks and jeeps, is all set to be replaced by Tata Motors’ celebrated pickup truck. Border Security Forces and the Indian Army have placed an order of over INR 400 crores for Tata Xenon pickup and the Tata Safari Storme, an SUV by the auto giant.

Though the initial order is for 3,192 vehicles, sources claim that Army will gradually replace 35,000 existing vehicles. The Army will invite tenders from makers of 'in-service' vehicles. Vehicles already serving in the armed forces are termed as 'in-service' vehicles.

Maruti Gypsy is possibly one of the longest serving vehicles in the Indian Armed Forces, but the need for new more powerful vehicles may have led to the decision of buying Xenon pickup and Safari Storme from Tata Motors. The Army and BSF may also be switching to new vehicles as Maruti Gypsy is not known for its mileage output abilities. Moreover, Tata Xenon uses diesel as fuel while Gypsy rides on petrol.

Most of the Tata Xenons ordered by the forces will be used by the BSF, especially along the Borders for improved troop movement and surveillance. Another good news about these vehicles being replaced is the commissioning of vehicles with pre-fitted features like air conditioning and air bags. ACs will definitely help soldiers in extreme weather conditions.

The forces have chosen the double cab variant of the Tata Xenon, as it will not only be able to transport more people but will also keep open the options of mounting weapons in the trailer area. Tata Xenon and Mahindra Bolero Camper had a close competition in the race of being Army's new vehicle of choice, closing with the former being rewarded with the title.

The 400 crore order bagged by Tata Motors sums up to 40 percent of the current annual revenue of Tata Motors' defence business. Tata Motors has also bagged a contract worth INR 63 crores to supply 350 units of SAK 32 4X4 tipper model to the Border Roads Organisation (BRO).

Here's a brief comparison between the two.

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