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Old 2nd April 2021, 23:22   #1
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Default Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army

The Indian army has had a wide range of vehicles, most which are 4x4s built to take on the harsh terrain the army operates in, and some of these vehicles are armoured as well. In addition to being capable and well-built enough to take on the army's needs, they need to be at the pinnacle of reliability - as that could literally be the difference between life or death.

Here's a list of some of the vehicles used by the Indian army.

Nissan Patrol Jonga 4X4
Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-army-jonga.jpeg
The Jonga was built by Nissan exclusively for the Indian Army. The name is an acronym for Jabalpur Ordnance and Guncarriage Assembly. The Jonga was in service from 1969 to 1999.

Maruti Gypsy
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One of the most popular vehicles of the Indian army. Even after production of the Gypsy ended for civilians, Maruti continued to manufacture the car for the Indian army. The petrol-powered vehicle performs well on urban streets as well as off-road thanks to its light weight.

Nissan 1 ton
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The Nissan 4W73, aka 1 Ton, was used by the Indian military. It is said to have been based on the Dodge M37 Weapons Carrier.

Mitsubishi Pajero
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A handful of these Mitsubishi SUVs have been deployed at the Indo-Chinese border.

Tata Safari Storme
Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-army-safari.jpg
The army-spec of the Safari Storme was called the GS800 (General Service 800)!

Toyota Fortuner
Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-army-fortuner.jpg
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police uses the Fortuner in the Ladakh region. It was inducted into the force in 2016.

Mahindra 550 XDB
Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-army-mm550.jpg
The MM550 is based on the American CJ Series Jeep. The off-roader has been used in some of the highest altitudes and snow clad passes in the world, during combat.

Tata Sumo
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The Sumo was used as a staff car as well as an ambulance.

Tata Xenon
Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-army-tata-xenon.jpg
The Indian army placed an initial order for 500 Xenons, most of which went to the Border Security Force (BSF). The vehicle is equipped with four jerry cans and convoy lights.

Mahindra Rakshak
Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-army-rakshak.jpg
The Rakshak is an armoured military vehicle built by Mahindra. The vehicles are based on the Scorpio as well as the Bolero.

Mahindra Armored Light Specialist Vehicle
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The ALSV (Armored Light Specialist Vehicle) was unveiled in 2020. The vehicle can carry 4 members and comes with ballistic protection, high-travel independent suspension, front and rear lockable differentials, a self-recovery winch and a central tyre inflation system. Its powered by a 3.2L, 6-cylinder diesel engine.

Renault Sherpa Light
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The Sherpa is an armoured tactical vehicle used by the National Security Guard (NSG) & Central Industrial Security Force (CISF).

Force Gurkha
Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-army-gurkha.jpg
In 2018, Force Motors bagged an order to produce Light Strike Vehicles for the Indian army. The vehicles are based on the Gurkha.

Casspir
Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-army-casspir.jpg
India is said to have used the Casspir in the 1990s. The South African vehicle is mine-resistant and can carry a sizeable crew of up to 14 members.

OFB MPV Aditya
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This is an Indian-made mine protected vehicle, based on the Casspir Mark 2.

Windy 505
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The Windy 505 is the India army's first patented fast-attack vehicle built by the Corps of Electronics and Mechanical Engineers (EME).

UAZ 469
Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-army-uaz.jpg
The UAZ 469 is a Russian military off-roader. It was phased out due to the difficulty faced in sourcing spares.

Mahindra Marksman
Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-army-marksman.jpg
Based on the Scorpio, the Marksman is an armoured people carrier which comes equipped with a machine gun mount and night vision cameras. The vehicle can seat 6 people.

Kalyani M4
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The Defence Acquisition Council recently placed an order for the Kalyani M4. It is expected to be manufactured by Bharat Forge, the defence division of Kalyani group. The vehicle is based on the Paramount Mbombe 4 armoured troop transporter. It is powered by a 6-cylinder turbo diesel engine and max torque is rated at 1627 Nm.

Kalyani Light Strike Vehicle
Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-army-kalyani-lsv.jpg
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Kalyani is also developing a Light Strike Vehicle for the Indian army. It is said to be based on the same platform as the Ford Ranger.

Mahindra e-Verito
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The Army inducted a fleet of 10 electric Veritos for officials to use in Delhi. The army has also used the HM Ambassador, Mahindra Scorpio, Maruti Dzire and Ciaz as staff cars.

Hindustan Ambassador
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ATVs / Buggys
Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-army-atv.jpg
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Smaller All Terrain Vehicles sometimes are the best and quickest mode of transport in harsh or dense terrains where SUVs and other larger off-roaders might struggle.

Last edited by GTO : 7th April 2021 at 11:40.
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Old 2nd April 2021, 23:23   #2
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Default Re: Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 4th April 2021, 18:52   #3
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Default Re: Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army

In the post Independence era, the Indian defence forces continued to use the Chevrolet CMP 15 (Canadian Military Pattern) of the early 1940's WW II vintage. Ford of Canada too due to the World War II emergency, manufactured very similar trucks for the British Commonwealth of nations. A longer chassis and a crane variant were also in vogue. The Chevrolet had a 3.5 L and the Ford had a 3.9 L engine respectively. These totally dominated the 4 X 4 fleets with the Ford and Willys GPW, WW II jeeps and the Dodge Power Wagon.

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The Dodge Power Wagon WC- 51 with its 3.8 L flat head 6 cylinder engine as a pick-up and a personnel carrier of the WW II vintage were also popular in our forces.

Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-dodge_wc51_power-wagon.jpg

Soon, Premier Automobiles began to supply its Dodge cars, mainly the Kingsway in the 1950's for the very senior officers. I have seen the 1957 tail-fin model, with quite a few AOC-in-C's and GOC-in-C's with their three stars on the plate, above and below the front and rear number plates respectively. These Kingsways replaced the British imports, mainly the Humber Super Snipe (one survives in Hyderabad with the Army) and the Austin Sheerline (one survives in Kolkata with the Eastern Command) that were used by the very senior officers. These two survivors are very original and are still painstakingly preserved.

Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-austin-sheerline-eastern-command.jpg

This Austin Sheerline was used by Field Marshal Cariappa, who was Chief of the Army Staff and is now with the Eastern Command Hqs, Calcutta.

The Humber Super Snipe is now with the Military College of Electronic and Mechanical Engineering (MCEME)

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Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-humber-super-snipeind-army-gen-kapoor-1.jpg

Premier Automobiles also supplied the Dodge range of trucks. The Dodge B Series and the D-500 of the 1950's were not very common though. Hindustan Motors supplied the Indian assembled Studebaker trucks that were also not very common. Tata Mercedes Benz also took over for a long haul in the late 1950's with the diesel truck. But all through, till the mid-1960's the older WW II Fords and Chevrolets CMP 15 dominated the scene. Their numbers were very huge and no other brand came near them. Even the older WW II Ford and Willys GPW jeeps went away from the scene by the early 1960's, making way for the dominance of the Mahindra CJ 3 B, jeeps that were in for a very long haul. After the Gun Carriage Factory, Jabalpur started assembling the Nissan's Jonga Patrol and Man of Germany's Shaktiman trucks since the early 1960's, the scenario changed and these two with Mahindra and Tata made the numbers for our defence forces

Many senior officers were reluctant to hand over their Dodge Kingsways, owning to its immediate replacement with an Ambassador. Many tried to keep the Dodges fit and running with the help of their workshops (Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (EME) maintained these). Ambassadors came during the early 1960's with the earliest model and this car's dominance was all through the next decades of the 1960's, 70's, 80's, 90's, 2000's and even the early part of 2010-2020 decade. It had become symbolic with the Lt Colonels, Colonels, Brigadiers, Major Generals, Lt Generals, Generals (and equivalent ranks of the Air Force and Navy) and even the two Field Marshals Cariappa and Manekshaw of the Army and Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh had used Ambassadors. The Mahindra Armada was also ushered in during the mid-1990's, though none of these could be surviving now.

Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-army-chief-general-bikram-singh-7-rcr-road-exit.jpg

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(this Ambassador Army I still survives with the Army Chief's fleet)

These days the Tata Safari, Maruti Ciaz and Mahindra Scorpio are used by the senior most officers. The Maruti SX-4 was in use by these high-ranking officers ,but are now being passed on to the lower ranks, after the Maruti Ciaz got these replaced. These are the current makes of cars used by the three service chiefs.

Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-air-force-chief-cars.jpg

Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-army-chief-cars.jpg

Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-navy-chief-cars.jpg

The highly decorated Air Force officer entitled to use an official car with five stars befitting his rank Marshal of the Air Force Arjan Singh, used an Ambassador and that was lastly replaced with a Maruti Ciaz. Yes, officers of this rank are entitled to use and official car with the five stars on the plate even after retirement, whereas other ranks are not similarly entitled.

Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-moaf-arjan-singh-1.jpg

Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-moaf-arjan-singh-car.jpg

Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-moaf-arjan-singh-ciaz.jpg

And lastly, Field Marshal S.H.F.J. Manekshaw of the Indian Army was also similarly entitled. This is an image of the Field Marshal, who was an invitee to a CRPF ceremony, while in service. The car appears to be a Dodge or Plymouth of the early 1950's.

Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-shfj-manekshaw-crpf-website.jpeg

Last edited by anjan_c2007 : 4th April 2021 at 19:01.
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Old 5th April 2021, 00:20   #4
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Thanks for this wonderful thread!

There is something special about a Black Amby with dark glasses (rather than tints I guess the effect is due to the bulletproof glass?).

None of it's successors have the same "character" (not to say, they are any lesser cars).
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Old 5th April 2021, 14:05   #5
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Default Re: Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army

At the Kolkata HQ of the Indian Army: the car that Gen Niazi came in, to surrender after the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.

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Our men took the car too
(Shared as received)
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Old 5th April 2021, 16:51   #6
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That Renault Sherpa looks bomb. Is it also sold to the French/any other military or made specifically for us.
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Old 5th April 2021, 19:46   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by condor View Post
At the Kolkata HQ of the Indian Army: the car that Gen Niazi came in, to surrender after the 1971 Bangladesh liberation war.

Attachment 2140851

Our men took the car too
(Shared as received)
Details and more photos of this particular car are here - https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/vinta...ml#post4800096 (Post-War Military Vehicles in India)
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Old 5th April 2021, 21:27   #8
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Default Re: Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiragM View Post
Kalyani Light Strike Vehicle
Attachment 2135772
Image Source
Kalyani is also developing a Light Strike Vehicle for the Indian army. It is said to be based on the same platform as the Humvee.
The LSV as the name suggests is a light strike vehicle and the HMMWV chassis is not meant for that.

This particular LSV is based on the Ford Ranger.
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Old 6th April 2021, 10:56   #9
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I was hoping to see pics of the "1-ton" and "3-ton" vehicles that all of us army kids used to see all around. In fact, I don't think we actually even knew the manufacturer/model of those as we used to reference their tonnage as the names. Too bad I do not have pics of those to post.

I remember seeing a classic once in MHOW (cantt near Indore) as a flag staff car when I was kid and I still remember it vividly as it was first non-Ambassador flag staff car I had ever seen! I am guessing it must be one of the models listed in this thread. Marvelous thread.
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Old 6th April 2021, 11:33   #10
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Default Re: Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiragM View Post
Here's a list of some of the vehicles used by the Indian army.


Nissan 1 ton
Attachment 2134269
The Nissan 4W73, aka 1 Ton, was used by the Indian military. It is said to have been based on the Dodge M37 Weapons Carrier.

Below is correct picture of Nissan 4W73. Above one ton is modified beyond recognition and was not the model used by Army
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Mitsubishi Pajero
Attachment 2134181
Image Source
A handful of these Mitsubishi SUVs have been deployed at the Indo-Chinese border.
Picture posted by you is of a Montero (in India), actually Pajero SFXs were bought by armed forces.



Mahindra 550 DXB
Attachment 2134180
The MM550 is based on the American CJ Series Jeep. The off-roader has been used in some of the highest altitudes and snow clad passes in the world, during combat.
The correct series is 550 XDB not DXB
Few corrections on original post in bold
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Old 6th April 2021, 12:14   #11
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Default Re: Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army

Hello all,

This car can be found in the Air Force Museum at Delhi Airport.

This is a proper V8 Ford. It was used by the Air Chief till late 1970's i think.
Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army-20200202_132604.jpg

cheers
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Old 6th April 2021, 12:24   #12
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Default Re: Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army

Quote:
Originally Posted by ChiragM View Post
Tata Safari Storme
Attachment 2134255
The army-spec of the Safari Storme was called the GS800 (General Service 800) and came with 70% more power and 200% more torque. The SUV is equipped with recovery hooks and jerry cans.
Are you sure about this? It would mean 260 bhp and 800nm of torque and from a 2.2 diesel no less!

I would be surprised if it makes as much power as the civilian Safari given the use case and priorities are entirely different.
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Old 6th April 2021, 12:41   #13
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Default Re: Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army

Quote:
Originally Posted by extreme_torque View Post
Are you sure about this? It would mean 260 bhp and 800nm of torque and from a 2.2 diesel no less!

I would be surprised if it makes as much power as the civilian Safari given the use case and priorities are entirely different.
This is one fallacy that has been started by online car rags and since then has been circulated ad nauseam by fanboys on the internet .IIRC, The GS800 is actually less powerful than the Civilian Storme (the Varicor 400 one). It comes in the Varicor 320 tune (with 150 horses and a 5 speed gearbox). The Army rigorously tests vehicles before inducting them and from what I have heard, Tata Motors chose to enter the V320 Storme in the GS800 procurement fray (I don't think the V400 had been developed then).

Anyways, an additional 80NM of torque does not mean much to the Army considering the purpose of the GS800. As it is, regular Army driver's are finding it tough to get used to the power reserves available in the Storme. Coupled with the sub-par on road dynamics of the vehicle, there have been a lot of avoidable fatalities (especially among senior officers). Moreover, the V320 (and the 5 speed gearbox) is supposed to be more reliable than the V400 (with its 6 speed gearbox).

Last edited by sierrabravo98 : 6th April 2021 at 12:42. Reason: Typo
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Old 6th April 2021, 12:43   #14
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Default Re: Cars & 4x4s of the Indian Army

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Originally Posted by ChiragM View Post

Toyota Fortuner
The Indo-Tibetan Border Police uses the Fortuner in the Ladakh region. It was inducted into the force in 2016.
Wonder why this vehicle comes with a civilian number plate?
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Old 6th April 2021, 13:07   #15
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2 Endeavours were also procured along with the Fortuners, any pictures of them?

Quote:
Originally Posted by arjithin View Post
Wonder why this vehicle comes with a civilian number plate?
Quote:
This is a Government number and CH01GA was the official series in which Government procured vehicles are registered in.
https://www.team-bhp.com/forum/india...rations-4.html (Border Forces purchase Toyota Fortuner & Ford Endeavour for high altitude operations)

Last edited by CEF_Beasts : 6th April 2021 at 13:09.
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