‘New fleet of vehicles to be deployed in J&K, Ladakh’
Jammu, Jul 20 : After replacing the vintage gypsy with specifically customized indigenous Tata Safari, Indian Army has inducted first batch of new 4×4 vehicles Toyota Hilux Mountain off-Road Vehicles (MRVs) and Mahindra Scorpio light utility vehicles (LUVs) to enhance mobility in difficult terrains and high altitude areas of Jammu -Kashmir and Ladakh.
Official sources told that after sustained testing of over two months under controlled conditions, Northern Command of the Indian Army has received the first batch of Toyata Hiluxs.
“Hilux was put through over 2 months of extensive and rigorous evaluation by the Northern Command of the Indian Army. The Hilux successfully performed in extreme weather and rough terrains – ranging from an altitude of 13000ft to sub-zero temperatures,” officials said.
This development came a week after Mahindra and Mahindra delivered an unknown number of its iconic Scorpio with army-specific customization to the army, against the order of 1,470 units.
“Army also inducted the first batch of an unknown number of Scorpios, Mahindra said in a social media post in mid-July,” officials said, adding, “Mahindra received an order for 1,470 Scorpios from the Indian Army in January.”
Olive Green colour, Army-spec Scorpio gets 4X4 a black plastic panel on either side of the windshield just above the vertically stacked tail-lights. It is likely done to minimise the damage to the exterior. On the inside, the army-spec Mahindra Scorpio features grey and black interiors, and gets a touchscreen infotainment and climate control. There could be some additional features for the army-spec model, but certain details are not yet known.
Army’s Northern Command confirmed the development and shared a post on tweet.
“The Hilux, known for its toughness, durability, reliability, and offroading capabilities with its powerful engine and 4×4 drive coupled with enhanced safety features will boost the operational readiness and modernise the fleet of the Indian Army,” the Northern Command said in a tweet.
#IndianArmy – modernizing the fleet to conquer any terrain!#LtGenAnindyaSengupta, #COS_NC received first set of Toyota Hilux – Mountain off-Road Vehicles(MRVs) from Mr. V. Wiseline Sigamani, General Manager – Strategic Business Unit (North) after rigorous testing in most… pic.twitter.com/2o0yaItPbE
— NORTHERN COMMAND – INDIAN ARMY (@NorthernComd_IA) July 19, 2023
Meanwhile, as per spokesperson of Toyata, the army specific Hilux features four-wheel drive as well as a low-range transmission with front and rear electronic differential locks for increased offroad capability. It has a 29° approach angle and a 26° departure angle. The Hilux also features a 700 mm water-wading capacity.
Sharing his views, Mr. V. Wiseline Sigamani, General Manager – Strategic Business Unit (North), said “We are thrilled to deliver the Hilux, marking a significant milestone, fulfilling our first-ever Hilux order to the Indian Army. We are truly honoured and proud with this opportunity. The Hilux that offers unique off-roading characteristics, coupled with enhanced safety features, makes it the most ideal vehicle for the army purposes and cater to their special purposes.
The senior leadership and users of Hilux said, “We are happy to receive the first fleet of Toyota Hilux, which measures up to the requirements of the Indian Army. We acknowledge TKM’s support to customise the Hilux, passing through our stringent road tests with its strong off-roading strengths and extreme performance under stringent weather, difficult terrain conditions, which is key to our requirements. We look forward to utilising these fleet of Hilux for the purposes meant.”
In the past, the Indian Army has procured the Tata Xenon pick up, the Tata Safari Storme and the Maruti Suzuki Gypsy – the latter being the favourite of the armed forces for almost two decades.
In May 2018, Tata Motors had showcased the army-spec three-door Tata Safari Storme with a soft top. However, the vehicle could not enter service in the armed forces. In March 2022, we had reported that the Indian Army was looking to replace 35,000 units of the Gypsy SUV in a phased manner, and the Scorpio was also considered—(KNO)