Who will replace iconic Maruti Gypsy in Indian Army? Tata or Mahindra
The Indian Army has received an approval to acquire new GS 4x4 vehicles to replace Maruti Suzuki Gypsy, but it remains to be seen which car or carmaker will be able to bag the contract.
- The proposal is to replace 35,000 Maruti Suzuki Gypsy
- In 2017, Tata Motors got orders for Safari Storme from Army
- At the time, Mahindra Scorpio competed against Safari Storme for the contract
The iconic 4x4 Maruti Suzuki Gypsy has been serving the Indian Army for more than two decades now. The SUV has been ordered by the forces in multiple batches, with the last one delivered in 2020. However, now the army is planning on getting a new 4x4, soft top SUV to replace Gypsy. The proposal to replace 35,000 Gypsy and acquire new light vehicles GS (General Service) 4x4 got the approval of the Defence Acquisition Council under the chairmanship of Defence Minister Rajnath Singh.
Because of high demand and repeated orders from armed sources, Maruti Suzuki continued to provide the SUV to the Army until 2020, long after the civilian version was discontinued due to new pollution and safety regulations. The Gypsy's service life in the Indian army is roughly 15 years. Thus the replacement process will be gradual and last for several years.
However, the question lingers on which car is capable of replacing the Gypsy for the army. Earlier, Indian carmakers like Mahindra and Tata have come toe to toe to get the contract from the Army for their respective models. Back in 2017, Tata Motors signed a contract to supply more than 3,000 Tata Safari Storme SUVs. The SUVs are being used by senior army officials for transportation under the GS800 (General Services 800) category.
At the same time, in 2017, Mahinda competed against Tata Motors for the order with the Mahindra Scorpio, where both the cars were put through tough tests to find out the one most suited for the army's needs. Since the Army is again looking for new soft-top 4x4 cars for rough terrains, the companies will be competing again.
The tender for the requirements will begin soon. However, it remains to be seen if Tata Safari Storme will be able to compete for the contract as the production of the car stopped in 2019.