Automobile major Tata Motors on Thursday said it will supply 3,192 units of its sports utility vehicle (SUV) Tata Safari Storme to the Indian Army.
The contract was signed with the Indian Army for the supply of the SUVs under a new category of vehicles -- GS800 (General Service 800), according to the company.
"The Indian Ministry of Defence (MOD) had floated a request for proposal (RFP) for vehicles with three basic criteria -- minimum payload capacity of 800 kg, hard roofs and air conditioning," the company said in a statement.
"Developed indigenously, the Tata Safari Storme 4x4 has completed a total trial duration of 15 months in various terrains across the country, demonstrating supreme performance in the most demanding conditions with capabilities of coping with extreme on- or off-road terrains."
The company elaborated that the SUV will replace Maruti Gypsy in the 4x4 light vehicle category.
"First, a replacement of Tatra by Tata High Mobility Vehicle 6x6 in the 10-tonne class, and now a replacement of Maruti Gypsy by Tata Safari Storme in the 4x4 light vehicle category reiterates Tata Motors' position as a leading supplier of defence mobility solutions to the Indian Armed Forces," the statement said.
Vernon Noronha, Vice President, Defence and Government Business, Tata Motors, said: "This variant of the Storme has been modified from the one available for civilians with an upgraded drivetrain and significantly modified suspension."
"The Safari Storme was conceived and designed keeping in mind the need for a rugged, comfortable and reliable vehicle, making it popular with law enforcement agencies. We will shortly commence delivery of these vehicles for the Army and Navy in a phased manner," Noronha added.