For the longest, the land-based branch and the largest component of the Indian Armed Forces – the Indian Army has employed the Maruti Suzuki Gypsy in their fleets. The Gypsy has served as the General Service (GS) 4X4 light vehicle to the army and has proved its capabilities for a long time, however like everything else the good old reliable gypsy has now started to show its age and now needs a replacement. This is where Maruti Suzuki has jumped back and it has now been revealed by the company that it will be offering the Indian Army a customized iteration of the Jimny.
According to sources the company officials have stated that they will be offering their current off-roader Jimny in its three-door format to the Indian Army and it will make it a soft top. Recently the Defence Acquisition Council (DAC) headed by the Union Minister of Defence Rajnath Singh approved the army’s request to induct new General Service (GS) 4X4 light vehicles.
The Indian Army stated that it is looking to replace the Gypsy with a light off-roader that can be utilized in treacherous mountainous terrains. The army is also specifically looking to replace it with a soft top vehicle as soft tops permits more versatility and helps soldier to place guns, rifles and communication equipment. The soft vehicles also help the Quick Reaction Teams to move quickly.
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For those unaware, the country’s largest carmaker Maruti Suzuki India Limited provided the Gypsy to the Indian Army till 2020 despite being discontinued for the civilians a long time ago. Although with the increasingly stringent emission norms continuing producing the Gypsy was not an option so the company discontinued the vehicle.
Recently, a set of images of the Mahindra Scorpio Classic designed specifically for the Army were also leaked online. Pictures showed the cars parked in a yard. Like most other Army vehicles, the Scorpio Classic was finished in a light shade of olive green. Also to make the body safe in off-road terrains, it had a thick black cladding covering half of its body. The army SUV had roof rails, same like on civilian SUV. It also had the same alloy wheels as the Scorpio Classic, but they were finished in solid silver rather than the diamond cut as they are on the standard Scorpio Classic.
The SUV also included a tow hook attachment that will allow it to transport a variety of portable storage carts, as well as moveable small caliber artillery weapons and other similar weaponry systems. Aside from that, the car also had chrome just on the badges and front grille, with the rest of the trimmings blacked out. A 4WD insignia was also spotted on the back of the SUV.
A new aluminum construction 2.2-litre diesel engine, that comes mated with a 6-speed manual gearbox, and also equipped with drive-by-wire technology will be under the bonnet of this army specific model. This engine produces 132 bhp of maximum power and 300 Nm of maximum torque in civilian guise.
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