Tata Safari Storme has won the bid against the Mahindra Scorpio, and the Tata Xenon defeated the Mahindra Bolero Camper.
The Indian army has made an initial contract calls for delivery of 3,198 units of the Tata Safari Storme, and over 500 orders for the Xenon pickup.
Tata Motors has announced that its popular SUV – Safari Strome – will replace the Maruti Gypsy as the official vehicle of Indian Army. Also, the company’s twin-cab pickup Tata Xenon will be supplied to BSF armed forces. This is Tata’s second biggest deal with the Indian armed forces made this year, first was for the high-mobility military trucks worth Rs 1300 crore. The Indian army has made an initial contract calls for delivery of 3,198 units of the Tata Safari Storme, and over 500 orders for the Xenon pickup.
Tata Safari Storme has 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 Tata Xenon won the contract after defeating the Mahindra Bolero Camper in the race. Tata said that this order can be gradually increased 10 times in coming years. The total order size revenue is Rs 400 crore or 40% of the existing annual revenue of the company’s defence business.
The Indian armed forces’ Xenon will have higher utility value than the regular one. Features such as airbags and AC will also be fitted to the vehicle. One must note that Tata Motors hasn’t yet officially announced deal’s details and the changes that the army-spec Safari Storme will receive. Having said that, the SUV will see additional structural upgrades that will make it more capable for accomplishing the Indian army’s requirements.
While the Maruti Gypsy was available only with the petrol powertrain, the Tata Safari Storme comes with a 2.2-litre, 4-cylinder diesel engine with more power and fuel efficiency. This oil burner, with a 6-speed transmission, churns out 148bhp and 320Nm. The SUV comes with both 4X2 and 4X4 drivetrain options. When compared to the Gypsy, it stays ahead on the grounds of robust body-built, performance and off-road capabilities
Besides these huge defence orders, the Pune-based carmaker has also signed a contract for 350 units of the SAK 32 4X4 tipper model worth Rs 63 crore. These units will be supplied to the Border Roads Organisation (BRO). This contract will help Tata Motors achieve 50-55% growth in defence business this year. As per Noronha, these figures could be increased three-folds.
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.