The first batch of Army-spec Tata Safari Storme has started reaching the Eastern Command. It’s said that these SUVs are being sent to the forward bases. The Safari Storme will replace the ageing Maruti Suzuki Gypsy in the fleet of our Defense Force. It may be noted here that last year, Tata Motors Ltd bagged an order for supplying 3,192 Stormes to the Army.
While the Maruti Gypsy is a sufficiently rugged vehicle that’s very capable off the road, it has failed to meet all the requirements of the Army. One of the biggest requirement of the Army is to have to air-conditioning. An Army officer has reportedly said that ACs are not for comfort but utility, especially in areas where there’s constant rain or snow. In such conditions, it gets really tough to drive with the windows rolled up as the windscreens fog over.
Moreover, the Storme can easily carry more people than the Gypsy. Also, the suspension and the body-shell of the Army-spec Safari is tougher than those of the regular version. The Army-spec Safari gets a green paint. There’s no chrome anywhere. There’s a canister-carrier on the rear-left fender. Plus, there’s a pintle hook at the rear and a pair of spotlights on the front bumper.
According to reports, even though the Army has put the Safari through several tests before approving it for use by Defense persons, it will be monitoring the performance of this SUV closely to make sure that its new ‘light vehicle’ can easily transfer the commanding officers from one location to another.
“The new vehicles have started arriving. The initial lots are being sent to forward bases based at locations like Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim where the terrain is difficult, and drivers would need to get used to the new vehicles. This vehicle is totally indigenous and far better than any in its category that the Army has used. The Army tried out the Safari Storme in extreme conditions for nearly 15 months before placing its order. Our company has assured back-up services and maintenance. It is also a low maintenance vehicle. Hopefully, other security forces will also look at this vehicle as an option when they replace their Gypsies,” a source in Tata Motors Ltd said.
Below is a video of the Army-spec Tata Safari Storme.
via ET AUTO