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Old 6th December 2016, 10:36   #1
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Default Indian Army's new official vehicle - the Tata Safari Storme!

According to sources close to ET, it has been reliably learnt that the Indian Army has shortlisted the Tata Safari Storme as their next official vehicle.


The Safari Storme, which will be replacing the Maruti-Suzuki Gypsy, beat out the Mahindra Scorpio for the prestigious honour, with both cars subjected to rigorous technical trials by the army, including testing the vehicles in all sorts of conditions - high-altitude drives, traversing snow-bound regions, crossing deserts and marshy lands - over the past 3 years. Tests and trials had begun in 2013.

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The Army has already placed an order for ~3,200 Tata Safari Stormes, which could increase 10 times in the next few years.

Quote:
The Tata Group appears to have presented a better financial deal to the army, which has sought to replace its fleet of Gypsy vehicles that are used extensively at the battalion level to transport troops and officers.

The army has over 30,000 Maruti Gypsy vehicles in service and will progressively replace them starting next year.

“The initial order is for 3,198 new SUVs but the total number is likely to go much beyond that. The army prefers a single model across its units and formations as it is easier on logistics,” an official involved in the process told ET.
ET Auto

Last edited by RavenAvi : 6th December 2016 at 10:39.
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Old 6th December 2016, 10:56   #2
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Default Re: Indian Army's new official vehicle - the Tata Safari Storme!

That should finally put to rest the bogey of Tatas being unreliable. Whilst this may have been true when the first gen Indica/Sumo Safari were launched, TML has made great strides since then and the Storme is as reliable as anything out there. Having owned a Storme for over two years (which was sold solely because i needed to move to an automatic because of a busted knee), I can safely say that there is nothing south of 30 Lakhs that comes even close to the Storme in terms of its capabilities, whether mile munching, comfort or even reliability- over close to 40K kms, and not a single issue. This is in stark contrast to the 3.0 dicor that I had, which was plagued with niggles.

Hope the Hexa carries this to the next level now!

Last edited by GTO : 7th December 2016 at 11:16. Reason: PM coming up
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Old 6th December 2016, 11:06   #3
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Default Re: Indian Army's new official vehicle - the Tata Safari Storme!

Guess, Maruti's days of milking the Defence Services with an outdated model with no improvements over the last 15 years or so has come to an end. Mahindra too has befallen the same fate with the MM550. I guess it is time for both of them to develop better alternatives to the Gypsy and the MM550.
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Old 6th December 2016, 11:29   #4
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Default Re: Indian Army's new official vehicle - the Tata Safari Storme!

Quote:
Originally Posted by RavenAvi View Post
The Safari Storme, which will be replacing the Maruti-Suzuki Gypsy, beat out the Mahindra Scorpio for the prestigious honour, with both cars subjected to rigorous technical trials by the army, including testing the vehicles in all sorts of conditions - high-altitude drives, traversing snow-bound regions, crossing deserts and marshy lands - over the past 3 years. Tests and trials had begun in 2013
Isn't the Storme dead opposite of what it's supposed to replace? Gypsy was reasonably quick, compact, lightweight, a mountain goat of sorts. Wonder if Storme can really beat the Gypsy anywhere, except maybe the highway. But, if the powers-that-be have already tested it extensively for 3 years and are happy with it, maybe it can!

I would still wait for the final announcement. Army did order a few Fortuners as well some time back IIRC. They were also already using a lot of Sumo 4x4s. Maybe it is a successor to that and not the Gypsy per say. Let's wait for the horse to speak, time will tell.
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Old 6th December 2016, 11:50   #5
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Default Re: Indian Army's new official vehicle - the Tata Safari Storme!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Isn't the Storme dead opposite of what it's supposed to replace? Gypsy was reasonably quick, compact, lightweight, a mountain goat of sorts. Wonder if Storme can really beat the Gypsy anywhere, except maybe the highway. But, if the powers-that-be have already tested it extensively for 3 years and are happy with it, maybe it can!

I would still wait for the final announcement. Army did order a few Fortuners as well some time back IIRC. They were also already using a lot of Sumo 4x4s. Maybe it is a successor to that and not the Gypsy per say. Let's wait for the horse to speak, time will tell.
The Storme 4x4 can haul a lot of load as compared to the Gypsy. Plus it has better fording depth. So in terrains of ladakh and Kashmir, it will actually be better than Gypsy. Plus its inherently safer and can be armoured much better than gypsy. However, I will be very keen to see how they mount an LMG on the Storme. Perhaps the Gypsy will continue for the desert operations where its light weight and open top will be critical.

Last edited by GTO : 7th December 2016 at 11:17. Reason: PM coming up
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Old 6th December 2016, 11:53   #6
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Default Re: Indian Army's new official vehicle - the Tata Safari Storme!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Isn't the Storme dead opposite of what it's supposed to replace? Gypsy was reasonably quick, compact, lightweight, a mountain goat of sorts. Wonder if Storme can really beat the Gypsy anywhere, except maybe the highway. But, if the powers-that-be have already tested it extensively for 3 years and are happy with it, maybe it can!
My view is that the Gypsy was a misfit and was 'fitted-in' the requirements slot. Not that I doubt the capability of the great legend Gypsy ( and it has proved itself over the years) , but maybe because there were not many choices available.
The requirements are mainly for use as an off-roader and the Safari does all of it with ease and aplomb. The army does need a sturdy vehicle and the Safari is one of the best choice they have considered. The other option could have been the Force Motors Gurkha but considering the company's unreliability, they must have left it out. Maybe Vehicle Factory Jabalpur should buy Force Motors and use them for in-house development...but I digress
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Old 6th December 2016, 12:04   #7
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Default Re: Indian Army's new official vehicle - the Tata Safari Storme!

A well deserved recognition for Tata Safari, this will surely help the brand Safari get more respect

In the meanwhile it seems this was the Storme they were testing;

Indian Army's new official vehicle - the Tata Safari Storme!-militarysafaristorme1.jpg

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Old 6th December 2016, 12:05   #8
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Default Re: Indian Army's new official vehicle - the Tata Safari Storme!

Safari is a good car, but it can't match the Gypsy off the road.
Two reasons:
1. Size
2. Weight

If the army wanted a comfortable vehicle, they should have asked Mahindra to modify the Thar and make it to their specifications.
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Old 6th December 2016, 12:20   #9
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Default Re: Indian Army's new official vehicle - the Tata Safari Storme!

Just hope that they also induct a soft top Storme a la the soft top LR Defender used by many armies. It'll reduce the weight, make it more nimble and ready for desert ops.

Most of all, imagine a matt finished OG coloured soft top Storme with auxillary lights with a mounted machine gun manned by a balaclava clad soldier. Would look mean, I say!!!
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Old 6th December 2016, 12:34   #10
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Default Re: Indian Army's new official vehicle - the Tata Safari Storme!

While I am glad that Safari withstood the tests thrown at it by the Army - and it is a very capable vehicle indeed - the following statement does leave one wondering if due diligence was done and the selection was made only based on the sheer capability and reliability of the competing vehicles.

the Tata Group appears to have presented a better financial deal to the army

On another note, the whole "replacement" bid does not make sense to me. These 2 belong to altogether different categories of vehicles - the Gypsy being virtually unconquerable off-road with its light weight, shorter wheelbase, superb 4x4 mechanism, and minimal electronics, perfectly suited for terrains which "SUVs" can only dream of treading upon, as opposed to the Safari which is amazing in terms of space and comfort but is limited in 4x4 prowess due to its sheer weight and size. Might have made sense to have a mix of both in the fleet and deploy as needed.

Last edited by cool_dube : 6th December 2016 at 12:36.
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Old 6th December 2016, 12:40   #11
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Default Re: Indian Army's new official vehicle - the Tata Safari Storme!

Quote:
Originally Posted by landcruiser123 View Post
Safari is a good car, but it can't match the Gypsy off the road.
Two reasons:
1. Size
2. Weight

If the army wanted a comfortable vehicle, they should have asked Mahindra to modify the Thar and make it to their specifications.
Safari's strength's far outweigh the Gypsy or the Thar for that matter.

Also one needs to understand for 95% of all applications of the Army's primary mobility vehicle will be in mundane conditions which is quite similar to what we face. Urban roads, city traffic, travelling to and fro from the bases, transporting officers, traversing poor terrain......all this the Safari is more than capable of handling.

Simply for the small 5% of it's duties where Gypsy's off roading prowess comes to light, it makes no sense having to live with the discomfort, lack of modern features, poor safety etc... The Gypsy is a poor day to day vehicle by modern standards, no doubt it is effective but designed in the late 70s it's long overdue a replacement.

Plus for extreme off road conditions I am sure the Army has alternatives in place, even if that means retaining a small fleet of Gypsys.

Finally after all these decades (if this news is true) the Safari receives some recognition for all it's inherent strengths. While it may not seem so, it has come a long way from the severely underpowered, finicky 90hp behemoth to a more all round package of an elder statesman it is today. The Safari and its various iterations in someways is a snapshot of the progress Tata and perhaps the Indian car industry has made over the last 2 decades.

Finally it's heartwarming to see the Army replacing the Gypsy for a true blue Indian effort, albeit one that's 20 years in the making.
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Old 6th December 2016, 13:31   #12
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Default Re: Indian Army's new official vehicle - the Tata Safari Storme!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dry Ice View Post
Army did order a few Fortuners as well some time back IIRC.
IIRC, the Fortuners were for the ITBP, not Indian Army:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...perations.html (Border Forces purchase Toyota Fortuner & Ford Endeavour for high altitude operations)

Cheers,
Vikram
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Old 6th December 2016, 13:42   #13
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Default Re: Indian Army's new official vehicle - the Tata Safari Storme!

The army men will definitely have a more comfortable ride!

Quote:
Originally Posted by landcruiser123 View Post
Safari is a good car, but it can't match the Gypsy off the road.
Two reasons:
1. Size
2. Weight
I thought size and weight matters only in slushy conditions. In mountainous terrain, won't the Safari Storme be as capable as the Gypsy?
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Old 6th December 2016, 14:03   #14
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Default Re: Indian Army's new official vehicle - the Tata Safari Storme!

Quote:
Originally Posted by 4x4addict View Post
Guess, Maruti's days of milking the Defence Services with an outdated model with no improvements over the last 15 years or so has come to an end. Mahindra too has befallen the same fate with the MM550. I guess it is time for both of them to develop better alternatives to the Gypsy and the MM550.
I remember reading on some thread on t-bhp that it was the Defence Forces themselves that did not permit any changes to the Gypsy. Apparently because for any mechanical/structural change made, the Gypsy would have to undergo trials and tests all over again.

OT: Does this mean the end of the road for the Gypsy. For the outdated, although purposeful, model that it is, it was only kept alive for when the Forces ordered them. Doubt MS will keep it alive just for those spartan civilian orders.
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Old 6th December 2016, 14:37   #15
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Default Re: Indian Army's new official vehicle - the Tata Safari Storme!

That's a great news for Tata & the Safari brand. I understand that the Safari is overweight, but it is not limp as the 90bhp 2L DCIC was. Moreover, it offers better 4wd (low) capabilities than Scorpio... it's primary competitor.

The Gypsy lost because it did not upgrade/ upsize the engine & overall dynamics. It was at best a back breaker on most unpaved roads. The Safari fares better in this regard. Also, these generally were not put on front since the Artillery Guns can be towed to the desired location these days, for which again the 2.2L AVL sourced engine in Safari/ Scorpio is better choice.

For personnel transportation, a covered vehicle is better than a soft top or open top one.

Fair decision, considering it would still be half price than the best choice - Fortuner.
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