It’s definitely a day of pride at Tata Motors, as the Pune-based carmaker has inked a contract with the Indian Armed Forces. Under the contract, the company will supply 3,192 units of the Tata Safari Storme 4X4 to the army. All SUV units will be made available under a new category – GS800 (General Service 800). The Safari Storme 4×4 has proved its mettle by fulfilling three basic criteria of the Indian Ministry of Defence (MOD) – hard roofs, air conditioning and minimum payload capacity of 800kgs.
The GS800 Tata Safari Storme has been designed indigenously for the Indian Armed Forces and tested through different terrains across the country. During its fifteen months of trial session, the SUV was assessed for on-and-off road capabilities and performance in extreme weather conditions. This is Tata’s second biggest deal with the Indian armed forces made this year, first was for the high-mobility military trucks (6X6) in the 10 tonne segment worth Rs 1300 crore.
Commenting on the bagged order, Vernon Noronha, Vice President, Defence & Government Business, Tata Motors Limited said, “We are very proud to have received this prestigious order for over 3000 units of the Safari Storme under the newly formed GS800 category. Tata Motors has been a leading supplier of mobility solutions to the Indian Armed Forces and this order is a testimony to our partnership with the country’s security forces. This variant of the Storme has been modified from the one available for civilians with an upgraded drivetrain and significantly modified suspension. The Safari Storme was conceived and designed keeping in mind the need for a rugged, comfortable and reliable vehicle, making it popular with law enforcement agencies. We will shortly commence delivery of these vehicles for the Army and Navy in a phased manner.
Tata Safari Storme 4X4 had won the bid against the Mahindra Scorpio, which was one of the strongest rivals in bidding process. In 2013, both the SUVs reportedly performed well in the technical trials conducted by the Indian army.
The Indian Armed Forces’ Safari Storme units will have higher utility value and better on-and-off-road capabilities than the regular one. This 4X4 version comes with ESOF (electronic shift-on-fly) technology improving engagement level on 4X4 or 4X2 mode. The NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) levels are lower and fuel efficiency has been improved. Standing on a class-leading ground clearance of 200mm, the Tata Safari Storme derives its power from a 2.2-litre, 4-cylinder diesel motor. While the regular unit makes 148bhp against 320Nm, the GS800 Tata Safari Storme delivers 153.8bhp and 400Nm of torque.
Tata Motor has been providing its defence solutions to India’s off-road defence and security forces since 1958. The company has delivered over 1.50 lakh vehicles to the Indian Military and Paramilitary Forces so far. The Pune-based carmaker offers a wide range of vehicles including Logistic, Tactical, Armored and Specialist vehicles. Tata Motor’s Defence Solutions have always been favoured for their lowest maintenance cost, maximum operational readiness and vas pan-India service network.
Besides serving the Indian Armed Forces, Tata Motors export its specialized defence vehicles to ASEAN, SAARC and African regions. With an aim to expand its defence business, Tata Motors has already associated with Bharat Forge for India’s Future Infantry Combat Vehicle (FICV) project that’s worth Rs 50,000 crore. In this project, USA’s General Dynamics Land Systems is a technology partner. The FICV project includes several Indian firms such as L&T and Mahindra & Mahindra, etc.