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Old 15th May 2016, 16:32   #1
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Default Border Forces purchase Toyota Fortuner & Ford Endeavour for high altitude operations

Now high-end SUVs for ITBP troops on Sino-India border
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New Delhi, May 15 (PTI) Expensive SUVs, usually found zipping across roads in urban locations, have for the first time been deployed at high-altitude border posts of the ITBP along the Sino-India border to transport troopers.

Four white-coloured Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), two Toyota Fortuner and as many Ford Endeavour, with a price tag of around Rs 25 lakh each, have been deployed by the border guarding force at some of its forward locations over 13,000 ft above the sea level at Burtse and Dungti in the Ladakh sector and Menchuka, over 6,000 ft, in Arunachal Pradesh.
http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/n.../1/668617.html
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Old 15th May 2016, 16:35   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by darklord View Post
Now high-end SUVs for ITBP troops on Sino-India border

Finally! It's anyway better to spend money on troops at such harsh conditions than on babus who throw a tantrums for getting a costly SUV! Kudos to ITBP and our government.

Last edited by Aditya : 16th May 2016 at 07:03. Reason: Typo
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Old 15th May 2016, 18:56   #3
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Default Ford Endeavours and Toyota Fortuners for troops along Indo-China border

From the print media:




Quote:
Originally Posted by Hindustan Times

Expensive SUVs, usually found zipping across roads in urban locations, have for the first time been deployed at high-altitude border posts of the Indo-Tibetan Border Police Force along the Sino-India border to transport troopers.
Four white-coloured Sports Utility Vehicles (SUVs), two Toyota Fortuner and as many Ford Endeavour, with a price tag of around Rs 25 lakh each, have been deployed by the border guarding force at some of its forward locations over 13,000 ft above the sea level at Burtse and Dungti in the Ladakh sector and Menchuka, over 6,000 ft, in Arunachal Pradesh.
No other border guarding force or army formations in forward areas have ever used high-end SUVs for troops.
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police (ITBP) headquarters here has issued a directive that the troopers and officers will use these vehicles only for operational tasks to prevent their misuse.
ITBP Director General Krishna Chaudhary said while the force has several types of four-wheelers, including those with 4x4 drive facility for high-altitude driving at its border locations, SUV platforms, which are powered by diesel-run heavy-duty engines were required for quick movement in these mountainous areas.
We were looking for some good high-power vehicles at those heights where regular vehicles are not as adept as an SUV. The Ministry of Home Affairs sometime back approved our proposal and we purchased four such four-wheelers in the first batch.


I can tell you that none of the senior officers in the force including me have such smart and powerful vehicles for their movement as compared to what our men have now, he told PTI.
In order to make sure they are utilised for the task they have been sent for, the ITBP boss said, strict instructions have been issued that these vehicles will carry troops while on duty and during patrol, officers can utilise them only when leading such tasks, in order to prevent their misuse.
Its not that my men will misuse the asset but what has to be ensured and kept in mind is that these vehicles have been sent for a special purpose and there should be no dilution in that task, he added.
The force, before deploying these SUVs at border posts, trained a special batch of drivers at the ITBP training centre in Chandigarh, after which they were driven uphill, to their places of deployment.
The interiors of the SUVs, a senior official said, have been slightly modified to fix radio communication sets and to seat 6-7 troops with their firearms.
The force is tasked with guarding the 3,488 km Sino-India border. Its posts are in some of the harshest areas with locations ranging from 9,000 ft to 18,000 ft where mercury often plunges below zero degree Celsius.
Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/...campaign=india


While we are at it, what other 4x4 vehicle is most commonly used today by the armed forces as of today. I guess its the Thar?
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Old 15th May 2016, 21:04   #4
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Default re: Border Forces purchase Toyota Fortuner & Ford Endeavour for high altitude operations

Question is : Why only 4 ?
Our troops certainly deserve dozens (if not hundreds) of these! I am sure the new Endy must be first one to be inducted into armed forces anywhere in the world!
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Old 15th May 2016, 22:59   #5
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Default re: Border Forces purchase Toyota Fortuner & Ford Endeavour for high altitude operations

While this is certainly a welcome move, I have my reservations about the desired maintenance of these vehicles given the fact that they are so technologically and electrically advanced.

It's great ITBP has trained drivers particularly for these vehicles beforehand and has laid out strict regulations so as to avoid misuse of these cars by the officials and their families. Kudos!

I'm not sure what constraints does the terrain provide that the force decided to go only with these two vehicles. As an afterthought, whatever duties these vehicles are meant to do, I'm sure the Thar 4x4 would be equally capable.

Nevertheless, this is a milestone in the history of the ITBP!

Last edited by barcalad : 15th May 2016 at 23:00.
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Old 16th May 2016, 05:31   #6
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I would imagine the updated Tata Safari Storme with 400 NM Torque n 6 speed gearbox could also potentially work in these situations.

Of course one would miss out on the permanent 4 wheel drive offered by the Fortuner but in most other departments, Storme would fit the needs quite well. And save a ton of money for the tax payer too.

Nevertheless, it is heartening to see the right kind of equipment being provided to our valiant troops at last.
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Old 16th May 2016, 09:20   #7
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Default re: Border Forces purchase Toyota Fortuner & Ford Endeavour for high altitude operations

I'm guessing the requirement of "ability to carry 7 persons + weapons" is the reason they chose Fortuner/Endeavour and not Safari Storme/ new gen Scorpio.
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Old 16th May 2016, 09:55   #8
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Default re: Border Forces purchase Toyota Fortuner & Ford Endeavour for high altitude operations

Nice! Those brave lads really deserve it.

But, I am wondering won't the new Isuzu D-MAX V-Cross 4x4 be a better buy than the Fortuner? Its got a lot of space to carry equipment and is no less capable to tread those hostile terrains, if not more.

And ITBP can buy 9 or 10 Isuzu for the price of 4 Toyota too.
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Old 16th May 2016, 09:59   #9
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Default re: Border Forces purchase Toyota Fortuner & Ford Endeavour for high altitude operations

Quote:
Originally Posted by AAD View Post
I would imagine the updated Tata Safari Storme with 400 NM Torque n 6 speed gearbox could also potentially work in these situations.

Of course one would miss out on the permanent 4 wheel drive offered by the Fortuner but in most other departments, Storme would fit the needs quite well. And save a ton of money for the tax payer too.

Nevertheless, it is heartening to see the right kind of equipment being provided to our valiant troops at last.
Reliability and durability is the deal breaker here!
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Old 16th May 2016, 10:38   #10
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Default re: Border Forces purchase Toyota Fortuner & Ford Endeavour for high altitude operations

Quote:
Originally Posted by sajo View Post
Question is : Why only 4 ?
Our troops certainly deserve dozens (if not hundreds) of these! I am sure the new Endy must be first one to be inducted into armed forces anywhere in the world!
Maybe they want to test the vehicles first in those conditions before going for bulk order. As far as I know the Pajero SFX given to the army did not fare particularly well at high altitudes.
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Old 16th May 2016, 10:48   #11
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Default re: Border Forces purchase Toyota Fortuner & Ford Endeavour for high altitude operations

It is indeed a good news that, our troops are getting newer and reliable vehicles. As someone pointed out, V Max can also be considered for "RPG" launcher sort of a vehicle or machine gun mounted vehicle.

My only request would be, to have these vehicles bullet proofed along with underbelly protection, else our troops can be sitting ducks in these vehicles; Their lives are far more important than the cost of these vehicles.
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Old 16th May 2016, 11:16   #12
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Default Re: Border Forces purchase Toyota Fortuner & Ford Endeavour for high altitude operations

Phenomenal move . Personally, I'm happy to see these SUVs being used for exactly the kind of conditions they were built for! Reason for choosing them over the Scorpio would be the higher payload capacity, better performance when loaded, superior reliability & a larger cabin (Scorpio is too cramped).

Quote:
Originally Posted by barcalad View Post
While this is certainly a welcome move, I have my reservations about the desired maintenance of these vehicles given the fact that they are so technologically and electrically advanced.
The Fortuner is no more electrically advanced than a Maruti Swift. It's a very simple truck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by AAD View Post
I would imagine the updated Tata Safari Storme with 400 NM Torque n 6 speed gearbox could also potentially work in these situations.
The Fortuner has much superior reliability & offroad-ability.

Quote:
Originally Posted by deetjohn View Post
But, I am wondering won't the new Isuzu D-MAX V-Cross 4x4 be a better buy than the Fortuner?
It's only just been launched. Could definitely be a contender.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlackPearl View Post
As far as I know the Pajero SFX given to the army did not fare particularly well at high altitudes.
I think it would have to do with performance under load. Pajero had far lesser power than the Fortuner & Endeavour, so it might have struggled on steep climbs with 7 people + ammunition onboard. Backward-thinking HM wouldn't have provided the kind of support that Toyota / Ford offered either.
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Old 16th May 2016, 11:27   #13
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Default Re: Ford Endeavours and Toyota Fortuners for troops along Indo-China border

Quote:
Originally Posted by DCEite View Post
From the print media:

Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/india/...campaign=india


While we are at it, what other 4x4 vehicle is most commonly used today by the armed forces as of today. I guess its the Thar?
Great to see the vehicles at the places they were meant to be, I would love to see them go through the vehicle factory Jabalpur (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vehicle_Factory_Jabalpur) . Army green color with bigger wheels, proper winch, custom bumpers (front and back). It would certainly look the part in addition to going the distance.

I am wondering though, aren't the interiors too cramped in these luxury SUVs for the fully kitted troops? Or are these just for the officers? Like someone mentioned above, a D-Max 4x4 makes a lot of sense for quick troop movement in terrains such as this.

Last edited by Dry Ice : 16th May 2016 at 11:28.
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Old 16th May 2016, 11:39   #14
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Default Re: Border Forces purchase Toyota Fortuner & Ford Endeavour for high altitude operations

I feel DMAX V Cross+ Fortuner combo would be the most suited for the Armed forces purely because of the bare bones stuff and not too much of gizmos involved. Ford Endy is technically complex and troubleshooting it won't be easy for the armed forces maintenance crew and may end up more in downtime than in service.

Fortuner and DMAX are both supremely reliable, rugged and proven performers. When you are in enemy line of fire, reliability and ruggedness trumps all other factors.
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Old 16th May 2016, 11:47   #15
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Default Re: Border Forces purchase Toyota Fortuner & Ford Endeavour for high altitude operations

This is an excellent move by the Armed Forces.

Of course, media people in typical fashion have highlighted the word 'high-end' as though somebody is doing a favor to the brave men who put their lives on the line every day, rather than the other way around.

There is a bit of a break from the typical process though, and its a good one - due to bureaucratic hassles, the forces have often in the past not been able to make use of commonly available commercial items (including vehicles), even when it is more practical to just use what is already available rather always have to buy items through a selection process that can take years.

I think it is a small step in the right direction, i.e using COTS items for general requirements like this instead of relying on specialized 'army approved' models (often of 70s vintage). Toyota vehicles are world renowned for being virtually unbreakable and are a great choice, and the relative cost is cheap too as they are multi-purpose vehicles.

I think the new Izuzu DMAX Vcross would also be a great fit for this, in fact a more practical fit - the space on the inside of the Fortuner isn't as great as it looks from the outside, for example.

Last edited by chncar : 16th May 2016 at 11:51.
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